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New Historical Marker Commemorates Early Lexington School, Historic Neighborhood

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) dedicated a new historical marker May 22 in the median of Mentelle Park, off the 900-1000 Block of Richmond Road in Lexington.

The marker commemorates Mentelle’s for Young Ladies, a school that Charlotte and Waldemarde Mentelle started in the late 1700s originally located on the campus of Transylvania Seminary. Around 1820, the Mentelles moved the school to a home called Rose Hill on five acres of land which they had been given for their lifelong use. The school closed around 1860 after their deaths, and the house has been gone since the late 1860s.

The Mentelles, Parisians who fled their homeland during the French Revolution, taught social etiquette, literature, dancing and French. Mary Todd Lincoln attended the school from 1832 to 1836. It was located about four blocks from the marker’s location, across the road from Henry Clay’s home, Ashland.

The location of the marker is significant because it is on land the Mentelles once owned. Mentelle Park was developed by local businessmen in 1906. The houses had modern amenities and the developers used modern marketing techniques to sell them. Several surrounding neighborhoods were added later, and in 1985, Mentelle Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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