In 1858 Rev. John Chase opened a school for young ladies at Wolfville, NS with his daughters, who had studied at Mount Holyoke seminary, MA, as teachers. Two years later the school was taken over by the Education Society with Miss Alice Shaw (who later married Rev. Alfred Chipman) as Principal. Miss Shaw had also studied at Mount Holyoke Seminary and prior to becoming Principal had conducted her own Girls’ School in Berwick, NS. From 1862 to ca1870, the school was known as the Grand Pre Seminary, but in 1872 it became the “Female Department” of Horton Academy. In 1865 the Academy including the Seminary, came under the control of Acadia College. After 1872 the Seminary was moved to the Acadia campus, and in 1877 it, with the Academy, passed into the hands of the Board of Governors of the University.
In 1879 a building was built specifically to accommodate the Seminary. It was four stories high and provided rooms for 50-60 students, as well as classrooms, a reception room, etc. In 1890 an east wing was added. This extension was 130 feet long, with a stone basement, hot water heat and electricity. Part of it was equipped for a gymnasium. The first floor contained classrooms, a dining room and an assembly hall and at the rear there were lawn tennis courts, as well as courts for basketball and croquet. The attached Music Hall was completed in 1899, containing a Music Room and studios, including a large studio for the Director of Pianoforte. The Annex, near the Seminary, provided accommodation for the Junior School and for those students who could not find rooms in the main building.
In 1926 President Patterson reorganized the Acadia Ladies’ Seminary and the Acadia Collegiate and Business Academy. The pre-college classes in these institutions were united to
form a co-educational school known as the Horton Academy of Acadia University. Courses in Music, Household Economics and Art, formerly given by the teachers of the Seminary, were transferred to the University; the diploma courses in these subjects remained, but additional courses were added qualifying for the degrees of Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science in Household Economics. One reason for the reorganization was that the number of students entering the Seminary for pre-college work had decreased, while the number enrolling for courses in Music and Household Economics had increased.