Ewha Hakdang was opened in 1886 by an American missionary named Mary Scranton. At first, she taught a student at her private house in Jeong-dong. In February 1887, Emperor Gojong gave the first girls’ school in the country the name Ewha, literally meaning “pear blossom. A symbol of the royal family, the pear blossom was associated with purity and brightness.
In 1886, the school’s first building, a Korean-style house measuring 600m2 with a tiled roof, was built in Jeong-dong. As the number of students increased, work began to demolish the existing building in 1897 and replace it with a two-story western building, Simpson Hall, which was completed in 1915. The school became the country’s first educational institution, comprising elementary, middle, and high schools, and a university.
In the early 1930s, Ewha Woman’s University was relocated to Sinchon, and its first building, Pffeiffer Hall, was built in 1935 in Sinchon.