The Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius, founded in 1909 in Scranton, Pa., had searched for 10 years for a permanent home for the growing number of Sisters in their congregation. The Sisters learned of a property for sale in Danville in November 1918. Father Thomas F.X. Dougherty was pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Danville and was able to help the Sisters with information about the property.
The estate consisted of a 44-room home, stables, barns, greenhouses, a farmhouse and a liveryman’s house on 187 acres of land. Known as “Castle Grove,” the mansion had been built in 1867 by John Grove, Sr., for his two sons, Michael and John Grove, Jr. After the death of the estate’s next owners, Caroline Grove Bennett and John Bennett, the estate was abandoned in 1905. Just after the end of World War I, John’s second wife listed the property for sale. On June 7, 1919, the sale to the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius was made final. The estate had been abandoned for 14 years and needed a significant amount of attention. The Sisters moved to Danville knowing they had a great deal of work ahead of them but were overjoyed by a place to call their own.