This estate was purchased from Lebong Tea Company during a slump in the tea market for a relatively low price by Bishop Fisher. Fernhill (presently the site of the boys dormitories and swimming pool)was acquired separately. The new building was opened in May by the Earl of Lytton, Governor of Bengal and was vividly described as “designed in Collegiate Gothic with Tudor arches and mullioned windows dominating it”.
Mount Hermon school was founded in 1985 by Emma L. Knowles of the British Methodist Episcopal Church, who became its first Principal. The School was first known as Arcadia and later as Queen’s Hill School. The school came to be named Mount Hermon during a prayer meeting around Mrs. Knowles’s fireplace, and it has retained the name ever since.
The school has maintained itself through two world wars, in 1916 the School Report records students occupied in “knitting for the soldiers”. The school nearly closed down towards the end of the second world war, when H.E.Dewey came down to Bombay, and then to Darjeeling on a steamer boarded at New York City. Mount Hermon School is a monument to history, having seen itself through wars, famines, natural disasters, the creation of the democratic nation of India and drastic technological changes.Presently, Mount Hermon School flourishes alongside the current cultural climate without having set aside the essence of history and its traditional values.
In 1918 the total enrolment was 163 students and by 1929 the number of students grew to some 200 odd students soon after, where three quarters of them were young women. In 1930, the school was renamed and had two wings – Queen’s Hill School for Girls and Bishop Fisher’s School for Boys. In the years under the Principalship of David Stewart, colloquially known as the Stewart years, the enrolment grew to 400 students and in 1963 the multipurpose Stewart building had to be opened right next to the main building. Later, The Mount Hermon College of Education for undergraduate teacher trainees was added, as well as more hostels and laboratories. In 1975 a short publication of the school even celebrated the installation of a 35mm projector and an entirely new kitchen.
In the early 1920’s a new site was purchased, the present one – Mrs. Knowles writes in a letter “The glorious views of the snows, the spacious grounds, the acres of young forest on every side, with half hidden paths for delightful rambles, the cottages already built for summer visitors …” The Estate was acquired after years of hard work and was a source of pride.