About Eleanor Parmenter Churchill
Eleanor Parmenter (1914-1994) first arrived at the Canterbury Shaker Village on June 14, 1926, six months before her twelfth birthday. She resided with the Shakers for several years along with several other orphaned and abandoned children. While at Canterbury, Eleanor attended school taught by Sister Marguerite Frost. She worked alongside the Shaker sisters and participated in many aspects of life at the Village, including the Shakers’ numerous plays, parades, and day trips.
In 1939 Eleanor left Canterbury and shortly thereafter she married Sam Churchill. Until Sam’s death in 1971 the couple frequently visited and corresponded with the Shaker sisters. Eleanor eventually remarried (Dick Schopp), and she continued to maintain contact with the remaining sisters until the passing of Ethel Hudson, the last Canterbury Shaker, in 1992. Eleanor died in 1994, the victim of a car accident.
About the Eleanor Parmenter Churchill Collection
The Eleanor Parmenter Churchill Collection contains materials relating to Churchill’s childhood with the Canterbury Shakers, newspaper clippings and articles about the Shakers, and her correspondence with various Shaker sisters after leaving the Village. It also includes well over a hundred photographs, many of which document life at Canterbury from 1926 to 1940 as well as three cassette tapes of telephone conversations and interviews with the Shakers.
- Views of Canterbury Shaker Village
- Material items
I. CorrespondenceBOX 1 f.1 Arthur Bruce, cards, n.d. f.2 Ida F. Crook, 1958 & n.d. f.3 Aida Elam, 1946-1955. f.4 Aida Elam, 1956-1957. f.5 Aida Elam, 1958. f.6 Aida Elam, 1959. f.7 Aida Elam, 1960. f.8 Aida Elam, 1961-1962 & n.d. f.9 Aida Elam, Birthday & Christmas cards. f.10 Edith Eunice, n.d. f.11 Marguerite Frost, 1929-1968 & n.d. f.12 Irving Greenwood, n.d. f.13 Rebecca Hathaway, 1950-1951. f.14 Rebecca Hathaway, 1956-1958. f.15 Rebecca Hathaway, Birthday & Christmas cards. f.16 Alice M. Howland, 1964-1967. f.17 Alice M. Howland, n.d. f.18 Emma B. King, 1940-1948. f.19 Emma B. King, 1952-1954 f.20 Emma B. King, 1955-1956. f.21 Emma B. King, 1958-1963. f.22 Emma B. King, 1964 & n.d. BOX 2 f.1 Bertha Lindsay, 1965-1982 f.2 Bertha Lindsay, 1963-1981 & n.d. f.3 Bertha Lindsay, cards, 1971-1983. f.4 Mary Alice McCoy. f.5 Alice McNear, cards, n.d. f.6 Arthur F. Nevers, n.d. f.7 Lillian Phelps, 1967 & n.d. f.8 Evelyn Polsey, 1932. f.9 Evelyn Polsey, 1940. f.10 Evelyn Polsey, 1943. f.11 Evelyn Polsey, 1944-1946. f.12 Evelyn Polsey, 1947. f.13 Evelyn Polsey, 1948. f.14 Evelyn Polsey, 1949. f.15 Evelyn Polsey, 1950. f.16 Evelyn Polsey, 1951. f.17 Evelyn Polsey, 1952. f.18 Evelyn Polsey, 1953. f.19 Evelyn Polsey, 1954. f.20 Evelyn Polsey, 1955. f.21 Evelyn Polsey, n.d. f.22 Evelyn Polsey, Birthday cards, n.d. f.23 Evelyn Polsey, Christmas cards, n.d. f.24 Evelyn Polsey, Easter cards, n.d. f.25 Evelyn Polsey, other cards, n.d. BOX 3 f.1 Helena Sarle, 1947-1954 & n.d. f.2 Beatrice Stackpole, n.d. f.3 Lena Thomas, n.d. f.4 Louisa F. T?, 1931-1932. f.5 Miriam Wall, n.d. f.6 Josephine Wilson, 1925 & n.d. f.7 Mary Louise Wilson, cards, n.d. f.8 From various Shakers, n.d. f.9 From various girls at Shaker community, n.d. f.10 Between various Shakers, n.d. f.11 Miscellaneous birthday cards, not identified, n.d. f.12 Miscellaneous, Christmas cards from the Canterbury Shakers. f.13 Miscellaneous, 1930-1937.
II. Miscellaneousf.14 Autographed sentiments written to Eleanor from the Shakers, the Shaker children, and other friends, 1937-1940. f.15 Blank cards, postcards. f.16 "Canterbury Shaker Sweater," pattern, 1989. f.17 "The Canterbury Shakers," Vol. 2 #1 (1982); Vol. 6 #1 (1986). f.18 Catalogs from the Shaker Workshops, 1972 & 1983. f.19 Funeral programs, 1938-1965. f.20 Invitations to parties. f.21 "The News," various issues 1988-1992. f.22 Newspaper clippings and articles about the Shakers. f.23 Paintings (watercolor) by Helena Sarle. f.24 Programs & pamphlets from Canterbury. f.25 "The Shaker Legacy," calendar, 1991. f.26 Shaker School, commonplace book kept by Eleanor Parmenter while in school. f.27 Shaker School, composition book kept by Eleanor Parmenter that describes various paintings (art history). f.28 Shaker school, misc. items. f.29 Transcriptions of poetry & music. **also see BOX 6 & OVSZ BOX 1
III. Photographs (mostly undated)
A. IndividualsBOX 4 e.1 Sister M. Catherine Allen (sepia, 8 x 4cm, half of postcard), n.d. e.2 Sister Flora Appleton and unidentified woman (b&w, 8 x 11 1/2cm), n.d. e.3 Elder Arthur Bruce (3 photos: b&w, 9x12; b&w, 5x8, 1933; b&w, 5x8, 1957, with negative). f.4 Antionette Chandler. f.5 Eleanor Parmenter Churchill. f.6 Sam Churchill. f.7 Martha Coombs. f.8 Dorothea Cochran. f.9 Aida Elam. f.10 Edith Eunice. f.11 Ethel Frost. f.12 Marguerite Frost. f.13 Eva Gardner. f.14 Irving Greenwood - includes pictures of buildings on Mt. Washington taken by I.G. f.15 Rebecca Hathaway. f.16 Ethel Hudson. f.17 Emma King. f.18 Bertha Lindsay. f.19 Mary Alice McCoy. f.20 Ethel Phelps. f.21 Lillian Phelps. f.22 Evelyn Polsey. f.23 Helena Sarle. f.24 Gertrude Soule. f.25 Gladys Stanley. f.26 Miriam Wall. f.27 Pet dogs (Rex & Dewey), a cat, and a Holstein cow. f.28 Unidentified individuals.
B. Groupsf.29 Photos including Eleanor Parmenter Churchill: e. 1 Eleanor, Elsie Dunlap, Anna Dunlap, Shirley Dunlap, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sister Marguerite Frost, 1927. e. 2 Eleanor, Laura, Peggy Roberts, Hazel Tourtelot(?), Emmeline Van Gilder, Rex playing in a pile of hay. e. 3 Eleanor and Sister Marguerite Frost. e. 4 Elizabeth Gilbert, Beatrice Stackpole, Eleanor, Shirley Dunlap, Anna Dunlap, and Elsie Dunlap. e. 5 Front row: Rosamond, Ellen Walker, Hazel Smith, Marion Hoyt Middle row: Unidentified, Eleanor, Lena Thomas Back row: Sister Marguerite Frost, Beatrice Stackpole. e. 6 Front row: Marion Hoyt, Hazel Smith, Ellen Walker Middle row: Eleanor, Rosamond, Lena Thomas Back row: Beatrice Stackpole, Sister Marguerite Frost e. 7 Auntie ? and Eleanor. e. 8 Mary Alice McCoy, Miriam Wall, Bertha Lindsay, Alberta Hudson, Hazel Smith, and Eleanor. e. 9 Alberta Hudson, Martha Coombs, Eleanor waving while standing on a metal fence. e. 10 Eleanor, Martha Coombs, Alberta MacMillan (Hudson), Aida Elam, Evelyn Polsey, Edith Eunice (cast of a play?). e. 11 Eleanor and Alberta MacMillan(Hudson). e. 12 Beatrice Stackpole, Alberta MacMillan (Hudson), Eleanor, standing: Martha Coombs with bedspreads in the background. e. 13 Eleanor, Evelyn Polsey, Aida Elam in dining room. e. 14 Sammy Churchill, Evelyn Polsey, Helena Sarle, two unidentified friends of the Shakers. e. 15 Margaret Elwell, Eleanor, Pat Patterson, March 1962. e. 16 Eleanor, Bertha Lindsay, Gertrude Soule, 1988. e. 17 Bob ?, Eleanor, Ralph ?. e. 18 Group shot of 39 children (2 copies). e. 19 Eleanor with Evelyn Polsey in the Radio Room. e. 20 Sammy & Eleanor Churchill, 1942. e. 21 Eleanor & Evelyn Polsey standing outside under a tree. f.30 Photos of Shakers: e. 1 Evelyn Polsey & Aida Elam (5 photos), in kitchen, with wagon of Shaker Brick Oven Baked Beans, and outside buildings. e. 2 Evelyn Polsey & Helena Sarle (2 photos), standing & seated outside. e. 3 Aida Elam at the piano & Lillian Phelps at the organ (2 photo postcards). e. 4 Emma King & Rebecca Hathaway, standing. e. 5 Anne Baker, Edna Fitts, Lucy Shepard, Julia Briggs, seated outside building. e. 6 Edith Eunice & Ida Crook, standing outside building. e. 7 Jessie Evans & Mary Alice McCoy standing outside building. e. 8 Ursala Gillette & Bertha Lindsay(?) with float for a Shaker parade. e. 9 Miriam Wall & Aida Elam, knitting at desks. e. 10 Anne Baker (Fannie Fellon?) & Lilliam Phelps, seated. e. 11 Sarah Frances Wilson & Jennie Meade, seated. e. 12 Bertha Lindsay & Lillian Phelps making poplar baskets. e. 13 Lucy Hunt & Aida Elam at the piano. e. 14 Marguerite Frost with camera & Evelyn Polsey standing. e. 15 Bertha Lindsay & Marguerite Frost with school children. e. 16 Unidentified individual, Sister Blanche, Josephine Wilson (seated). e. 17 Left: Marguerite Frost, Mary Louise Wilson, Antionette Chandler Right: Unidentified, Frieda Weeks, Edith Eunice. e. 18 Evelyn Polsey, Helena Sarle, Aida Elam, outdoors (2 photos). e. 19 Mary Alice McCoy(?), Miriam Wall, Bertha Lindsay, standing outside a building. e. 20 Evelyn Polsey, Alice Howland, Aida Elam, Rebecca Hathaway, Helena Sarle, Emma King, indoors, 1955 (2 photos). e. 21 Alice Howland, Mary Alice McCoy, Helena Sarle, Evelyn Polsey, a friend, Ethel Eunice, Arthur Bruce, seated, picnicing. e. 22 Emma King, friend, Marguerite Frost, Aida Elam, Evelyn Polsey, Ethel Eunice, Unidentified, Helena Sarle, Rebecca Hathaway, Alice McNear(?). e. 23 Evelyn Polsey & Marie, standing outside. e. 24 Evelyn Polsey, standing & Sam Churchill, weeding in the garden. e. 25 Josephine Wilson with a friend, standing outside. e. 26 Bertha Lindsay, Gertrude Soule, and Dick Schopp, Feb. 1986. e. 27 Helena Sarle & Rebecca Hathaway, standing outside. e. 28 Shaker Orchestra: Marguerite Frost (sax), Alice Howland (violin), Ethel Eunice (Sax), Aida Elam (cello), Frieda Weeks (piano), Evelyn Polsey (violin), Helena Sarle (trumpet). f.31 Photos of the "Shaker children": e. 1 Evelyn Polsey & Emily Colby as children. e. 2 Front row: Ellen Walker Razzi, Hazel Smith Eaton, Rosamond Start Alger Back row: Beatrice Stackpole, Marguerite Frost, on steps of a building. e. 3 Ellen Walker, Marion Hoyt, Rosamond Start, Lena Thomas, Helen Hoyt, Hazel Smith, Unidentified, outside (2 photos). e. 4 Peggy and Gertrude Roberts, outside a building. e. 5 Rosamond Start Alger & Hazel Smith Eaton, with irons in laundry room, 1988(?). e. 6 Helen Hoyt, Rosamond Start Alger, & Hazel Smith Eaton, in drying room, 1988(?). f.32 Tour Groups at Shaker Village: e. 1 Bud Thompson taking a group through the Village, 1980. e. 2 Nola Stokes taking a group through the Village, 1984. e. 3 Group at the Shaker Village, 1988.
C. Eventsf.33 Dogsled, group shots. f.34 Graduation, 1930. f.35 Hampton Beach, Franconia Notch, & Boer's Head trips, ca. 1930. f.36 Hurricane of 1938. f.37 Reunion, Shaker Village, 1979. f.38 Trip to Shaker Camp on Lake Winnisquam, 1927. f.39 Unidentified play or program, people dressed as angels. f.40 Unidentified play or program, people dressed as Indians. f.41 Other scenes of plays & parades.
D. Scenes of Canterbury Shaker VillageBOX 5 f.1 Stereoscopic views of Canterbury Shaker Village, 19th century. f.2 Buildings at Canterbury Shaker Village: Horse Barn Garage & Electric Light Plant Old Church Basket Shed Lower Mill Laundry Sister's Shop Syrup Shop Shaker's Shed Saw Mill Barns Infirmary Dwelling House Office. f.3 Inside buildings at Canterbury Shaker Village: Chapel Dining Room Kitchen Laundry Room Power House Old Church Radio Room Cow Barn Dairy. f.4 Outside scenes of the Shaker Village. f.5 Shaker furniture.
IV. Material itemsBOX 6 Item 1 Shaker stuffed toy zebra. Item 2 Shaker bean bag toy clown. Item 3 Shaker stuffed toy dog. Item 4 Linen handkerchief with needle point flower done by Rebecca Hathaway. Item 5 Brown swatch of cloth with pink needle point design. Item 6 Shaker fine work lace. Item 7 Needle holder with "Eleanor" written on the front. Item 8 Spoon owned by Evelyn Polsey. Item 9 Potholder made by Myra Green (age 102). Item 10 Yellow needle & pin sharpener shaped like a strawberry. Item 11 Blue & green ibid. Item 12 Eleanor's hair saved from 1st cutting, 1927. Item 13 Cassette tape (Sony HF 90): Bertha Lindsay & Gertrude Soule taped telephone conversations, 1986-1987. Item 14 Cassette tape (Compact cassette C-90): Christmas greetings from Bertha Lindsay, 1986. Item 15 Cassette tape (Memorex dBS 60): Ray Lajoie, Barney Larri, Norman, Robbie Bertha Lindsay and Gertrude Soule. (The above cassettes can be listened to in person either in the department or, more comfortably, in the Multi-Media Room of the library). OVERSIZE BOX 1 Item 1 "Scrapbook I [Eleanor Parmenter] filled at the Shakers (1926-1939)." Item 2 Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and mementos about and from the Shakers, 1950s-1992. Item 3 Student's Certificate for the Palmer Method of Business Writing granted to Eleanor Parmenter in 1930.