Honouring Mary Electa Adams, Hammond House
1/12/2017 12:14:14 PMThe Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has announced it will be installing two plaques on the Mount Allison campus this year.
One will honour Mary Electa Adams, a pioneer in women’s education in Canada and the first preceptress of the Mount Allison Ladies’ College. The second recognizes Hammond House, which was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.
“We are pleased and proud that the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada is bringing attention to Mary Electa Adams and Hammond House, both significant to Mount Allison’s history,” says Mount Allison President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell. “This permanent signage will serve to highlight Adams’ many accomplishments and Hammond House’s remarkable architecture for visitors and residents.”
Adams had an immense influence on women’s education at Mount Allison and in Canada as a whole. She served as the first preceptress of the Mount Allison Ladies’ College from 1854 to 1857 and set the tone for education for women at the College.
Adams was adamant that the young women follow a rigourous academic program rather than training in the “social graces.” By developing a challenging curriculum, equivalent to what the men were studying, she demonstrated that women were able to tackle the same type of instruction. That Mount Allison was the first university in the British Empire to award a bachelor degree to a woman in 1875 was due in no small part to Adams’ work 20 years earlier. She helped open the doors of Canadian universities to women.
Adams was designated a National Historic Person in 2004 for her work at Mount Allison and at a number of other ladies’ colleges in Ontario, as well as for her role in pioneering the study of modern languages and literature.
Hammond House is recognized as a National Historic Site due to its Queen Anne Revival Style of architecture.
Built in 1896, Hammond House, also known as Black House, was originally built for noted Canadian artist John Hammond, the first head of the University’s Fine Arts department and the first head of the Owens Art Gallery, the oldest university art gallery in Canada. Several murals painted by Hammond remain in the home.
Hammond House later became the home of businessman Frank B. Black, who served as mayor of Sackville, as a member of the New Brunswick Legislature, and as a Canadian Senator.
Read Mary Electa Adams’ citation by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada:
Read the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada’s citation for Hammond House: