Revisiting the Jefferson School

Jefferson School

There are times when I revisit an old friend and discover something new, such as the case of the long-abandoned Jefferson School in Wheeling, West Virginia. I had not discovered much about the historic structure other than coming upon its demolition in 2013.

There are times when I revisit an old friend and discover something new, such as the case of the long-abandoned Jefferson School in Wheeling, West Virginia. I had not discovered much about the historic structure other than coming upon its demolition in 2013.

A few nights ago, I cracked open the newspaper archives of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer and queried up schools along McColloch Street. I discovered articles from 1896 describing the need for an annex to the Clay School, which led to the construction of the Jefferson School, an eight-room annex that was dedicated on December 24, 1897.

When the Jefferson School was demolished, no one wrote a eulogy to its 100 years of service, citing only its deplorable condition as the only testament towards its character. It declined only because of a lack of code enforcement by the city and a lack of investment by its owners. With that, a symbol of good construction and impressive architecture was reduced to an unused grass lot with not even a historic marker to remark about its past.

1 Comment

  1. My grandparents lived on 15th Street. Their backyard faced the school McKinley school yard. I never remember anyone going to school there. We were never allowed to play in the school yard. It always seemed rather mysterious to us.

Leave your comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.