Charleston High School (West Virginia)

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Charleston High School
Charleston High School.png
Charleston High School, Washington Street entrance. From yearbook Charlestonian, 1933, West Virginia State Archives
1201 Washington Street East
Charleston, West Virginia 25301

United States
Type Public
Established 1916
Closed 1989
School district Kanawha County School District
Grades 10-12
Color(s) Old Gold and Blue          
Mascot Mountain Lion

Charleston High School is a former high school, which was closed in 1989, in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Its final location is where CAMC General Hospital is now located in downtown Charleston, West Virginia. In 1989, Charleston High School and Stonewall Jackson High School consolidated to form Capital High School.



There were three Mercer Schools. Mercer Academy was built in 1818 on Quarrier and Hale Streets. The second Mercer School, constructed in 1888, was on the site of where the last Charleston High building was built. This building was used as a high school from 1888 to 1890, and then as a grade school from 1890 to 1903. The date of demolition is unknown. The Third Mercer school was built on Quarrier Street in 1903.

From 1876 to 1890, Union School was the first location which housed Kanawha County High School. With one principal, two teachers, and about 25 students, the first graduating class consisted of two women. Union School again temporarily housed Kanawha County High School in 1903. Kanawha County High School became Charleston High School a year later.

Charleston High School was moved from its first location at Union School to the third Mercer School. This was the first building constructed for the purpose of housing Charleston High School, on Quarrier Street, in 1904. In 1890, the high school was moved to the Mercer School building on Washington Street East and this building then housed Central Junior High School, Mercer Grade School, and the Board of Education. In 1970 it became a parking lot.


The building for Charleston High School was opened in 1916 and was located on Quarrier Street just off Broad Street. This later became Mercer Elementary. The second Charleston High building was on the corner of Quarrier Street and Morris Street in downtown Charleston. It later became Thomas Jefferson Junior High School when the new building for Charleston High School was built on the boundary streets of Washington Street East, Brooks Street, and Lee Street. The new building was only three blocks from the original building.

The new building was built in 1926, due to over-crowding in previous buildings. It was called, "the big school." Even "the big school" became over-crowded during the late 30's, so Stonewall Jackson High School was built in 1940, to accommodate the students on the west side of Charleston.

As baby boom years continued, the need arose for another high school. In 1965, George Washington High School was built, to accommodate the students in South Hills and Loudendale. During the 80's, the student populations at CHS and SJHS dropped. In 1989 Capital High School opened, combining the students of these two former rival schools. This ended a 49 year rivalry.

Charleston High School was torn down in mid 1989. Stonewall Jackson High School became a junior high school.

During Charleston High's time, the school participated in the Gazette-Mail Kanawha County Majorette and Band Festival (then known as the Daily Mail). The school won the festival grand championship once in 1979 and has had seven majorettes named Miss Kanawha Majorette.

  • 1981-Kelly Ellis
  • 1979-Michelle Noe
  • 1972-Bobbie Coleman
  • 1970-Kay Bennet
  • 1969-Kathy Wingo
  • 1955-Judy Thrall
  • 1948-Phyllis Walker