When St. Mary's opened in Raleigh 1842 thirteen girls attended. In 1942, 225 girls attended and ranged in maturation from kindergarten to college ages. Previously it was an Episcopal, all-boys school known as Ravenscroft Grove. Daily activities included: prescribed exercise, prayer time, Bible lessons, and tea breaks. Famous alumni included: Annie Lee, daughter of Robert E. Lee, Margaret Wilson McAdoo, Woodrow Wilson's daughter, and Francis Fisher AKA Christian Reid the famous southern writer.