Residences played a key role in developing the experience of women at Acadia in terms of their social experiences. Residences provided areas for women to socialize and gain a strong sense of community and independence from family. Both Seminary and Whitman House developed their own distinct character and continue to contribute to Acadia's unique social atmosphere on campus.
Whitman House was erected in 1914 and had capacity for 50 female students. The residence was named after Edward C. Whitman, a member of the Board of Governors. The building was not yet furnished or complete by the fall of 1914 and students were forced to live in make-shift quarters until December of that year. The building was constructed of brick, slate roof and gables and the basement of the north end of the building provided space for the YWCA. Due to a lack of capacity, the building was enlarged twice, once in 1916 and again in 1926. Both of the additions were the wings on the side of the building which we see today. The 1916 addition cost $62,000 dollars and allowed the building to hold approximately 70 women and expand the dining room capacity to 120. Due to growing student enrolment, another wing was then built in 1926 which allowed the residence to have a capacity of 119, and rooms with either single or double beds.
Many rules existed at the residences especially concerning relationships between the female and male students. There were certain times in which gentleman were allowed to visit with the women. They also may accompany the ladies to concerts and debates in college hall but had to sit in the south gallery and under the watchful eye of a teacher or chaperone.
Women had to get permission from their parents to be able to leave campus.
"There, I was afraid "Tully" would slip out. It was during the first winter that the boys dubbed the new girls’ residence "Tully Tavern", and the story belongs with that year of the mud and the unfinished building. The previous spring, one of the men in our year had gone to dance in a nearby town, and there had met a Miss Tully, whom he considered the least attractive woman he had encountered. (If you knew the youth in question, a tall, ungainly stripling, with crooked features and a pimple on his nose, this was very funny... His Miss Tully died many years since, and we never knew whether she learned how her name had been used). In some bull session or other, the boys decided to set up a system of evaluation for "women", using one Tully as the unit of measurement. One version of the story was that 1,000 Tullies was the highest award possible and implied a very special sentiment for the peerless one thus honoured. The other version was that 1,000 Tullies were allotted to the college girls, and that, when the new residence was opened in the fall, the eight Seniors who were able to take their quarters at once, mustered among them 600 of the Tullies. The boys, not without apprehensions that the girls would disapprove of the name, dubbed the place "Tully Tavern". When the story leaked out, the girls, refusing to take offence, adopted the name with enthusiasm, and made up a yell, studded with allusions to matters of moment at the time:
"Tullyphone, Tullygraph, Tully Tavern we,
Uniform, Unison, Universal fee,
Levity, Laughter, Late Nights and Larks
Let em come , let em go, we’re not here for marks,
Yah! Tully Tavern!"
Excerpt from Blomidon Rose
Seminary was built in 1870 and was ran by principle, Mary Graves. The building was soon titled "Acadia Ladies Seminary" and became so popular that a new wing was constructed in 1892 for additional occupancy. The seminary continued to operate independently until 1922 when some of its courses were incorporated in the university program and the east wing became a residence for university women. At this point, Seminary became a part of Acadia. The west wing continued to house younger girls from Horton academy until closing in 1958, at which point the whole building became available for college women (Acadia bulletin). The courses available for women at the time were: Music, Art, Latin, French, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, English literature and some branches of Mathematics, Astronomy, Composition and Rhetoric. The favourite foods of Seminary residents were:turnips ,found in abundance on the college farm where Chipman House stands, and rice pudding.