Annie Louise Prat was born in Paradise, Annapolis County. Her life spanned a century. She was the daughter of Samuel Prat and Elizabeth (née Morse). Annie and her siblings were raised in Wolfville where her father was the first train-station master, and later became the superintendent of several stations in the Annapolis Valley. Her mother was the sister of John Morse, founder of Morse’s Tea in Halifax. Annie became a professional artist, studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
in 1896, while her sister Minnie studied in New York, becoming North America’s first fully-qualified woman bookbinder. Her younger sister, May Rosina, joined Minnie in NY to study leatherwork, and they later ran a successful bookbinding and leather studio in the city. Tragically, in 1901 at age thirty-three, Minnie died as a result of typhoid fever. May eventually returned to Nova Scotia and married. Annie returned to NS, continuing her career as a semi-professional artist. She also became the first Dean of Women at King’s College, Windsor, 1917-20. She later donated over 200 of her watercolours of Nova Scotia wildflowers and fungi to the Nova Scotia Public Archives and remained in Windsor till her death in 1960. For more information on this remarkable family, and Annie’s artwork, see the Nova Scotia Archives virtual online exhibit entitled: ‘The Prat Sisters: Free Spirits of the 1890s.’ (Photo: Annie L. Prat, 1885, Parkinson, NY. June 8th. N.S. Archives.)