Kimmins High School was founded by Miss Alice Emilie Kimmins who was known as “The mother of Panchgani.” Ms. Kimmins arrived in India in 1885 working first in Lahore and then at Varanasi and later in the Zenana Mission High School in Girgaum, Mumbai.

In 1896, Mumbai was struck with two disasters, of famine and plague. And the outcomes of these two disasters are relevant to the foundation of Kimmins. Ms. Kimmins had begun to dream a school in the hills for the European children to save them from the exhausting climate of Mumbai. She shared her idea with Miss Mary Ashlin. But there were no funds to start a school. It was Miss Mary Ashlin who offered a liberal grant of Rs.300/- per month to finance the school for 2 years.

There was a protestant school run for day students in Panchgani by Miss Evans. Ms. Ashlin bought the goodwill of school and Miss Kimmins arrived in Panchgani in February 1898 with more students , mainly boys. The boys stayed at “The Ark” and the seven girl boarders with their staff settled into the American Mission Bunglow (later know as Little House).

Miss Kimmins immediately started to plan for the expansion of the school.

Under Ms. Kimmins dynamic leadership, many buildings were completed at various periods. She said that for 15 out of 22 years in Panchgani, she was involved in building plans.