Wheeling High School History
Though an 1848-49 Act of the General Assembly of the State of Virginia made created what would become the first "Independent School District" of what would later become the State of West Virginia, Wheeling had no central public high school until 1897. Each ward of the city had a school set up with a 12-year educational system until this time. In 1897, the Maxwell property on Chapline Street—which would later become the Wheeling Public Library—was purchased for $20,000 and following remodeling was used until the opening of the "modern" building between Twentieth and Twenty-first streets.
Designed by Wheeling architect, Frederick Faris, the new Wheeling High School opened in 1911. Following a fire in January 1914, Wheeling High School was rebuilt and reopened in September 1915 and continued to serve the city’s public high school students until 1976, when the new Wheeling Park High School opened. The building was razed in April 1984.
All that remains today of the Wheeling High School building is one of the original pillars, preserved in commemoration by the alumni association. Ninety-one-year-old Matilda Scharf, a member of the 1912 graduating class, cut the ribbon when the pillar was dedicated in 1985.
Wheeling architect Charles W. Bates was contracted by the Wheeling Board of Education to design a new stadium for Wheeling High. The stadium was erected on Wheeling Island in 1927. Today it is owned and operated by Wheeling Park High School.
▶ Chapline street between 20th and 21 streets (demolished 1984)
▶ Wheeling High School Yearbooks: "The Record," [various years from 1908-1976], Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.
▶ Vertical File: Wheeling High School, Wheeling Room, non-circulating, ask for access at the reference desk.
▶ Wheeling High School Class of 1941 Scrapbook, Specials Collections, viewing by appointment only, call 304-232-0244.
▶ Wheeling High School building renovation proposal: technical drawing [blueprints], Archives, viewing by appointment only, call 304-232-0244.
▶ Archives Vertical File: Wheeling High School, Archives, viewing by appointment only, call 304-232-0244.
▶ Archiving Wheeling blog post: “An Ideal Fire Trap” - Wheeling High School Burns: January 3, 1914