Eleanor Parmenter Churchill Papers, 1924-1992

Collection number: MC 144
Size: 7 boxes (2.0 cu.ft.)

About Eleanor Parmenter Churchill

Eleanor Parmenter (1914-1994) was brought up with the Shakers at East Canterbury 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 papers

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.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of file], [Folder number], [Box number], Eleanor Parmenter Churchill Papers, 1924-1992, MC 144, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchased from Scott De Wolfe, Alfred ME, dealer (Accession number: 95.024)

Collection Contents

Series 1: Correspondence, 1929-1983

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Arthur Bruce, cards, undated
Box 1, Folder 2Ida F. Crook, 1958
Box 1, Folder 3Aida Elam, 1946-1955
Box 1, Folder 4Aida Elam, 1956-1957
Box 1, Folder 5Aida Elam, 1958
Box 1, Folder 6Aida Elam, 1959
Box 1, Folder 7Aida Elam, 1960
Box 1, Folder 8Aida Elam, 1961-1962
Box 1, Folder 9Aida Elam, birthday and Christmas cards, undated
Box 1, Folder 10Edith Eunice, undated
Box 1, Folder 11Marguerite Frost, 1929-1968
Box 1, Folder 12Irving Greenwood, undated
Box 1, Folder 13Rebecca Hathaway, 1950-1951
Box 1, Folder 14Rebecca Hathaway, 1956-1958
Box 1, Folder 15Rebecca Hathaway, birthday and Christmas cards
Box 1, Folder 16Alice M. Howland, 1964-1967
Box 1, Folder 17Alice M. Howland, undated
Box 1, Folder 18Emma B. King, 1940-1948
Box 1, Folder 19Emma B. King, 1952-1954
Box 1, Folder 20Emma B. King, 1955-1956
Box 1, Folder 21Emma B. King, 1958-1963
Box 1, Folder 22Emma B. King, 1964
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1Bertha Lindsay, 1965-1982
Box 2, Folder 2Bertha Lindsay, 1963-1981
Box 2, Folder 3Bertha Lindsay, cards, 1971-1983
Box 2, Folder 4Mary Alice McCoy, undated
Box 2, Folder 5Alice McNear, cards, undated
Box 2, Folder 6Arthur F. Nevers, undated
Box 2, Folder 7Lillian Phelps, 1967
Box 2, Folder 8Evelyn Polsey, 1932
Box 2, Folder 9Evelyn Polsey, 1940
Box 2, Folder 10Evelyn Polsey, 1943
Box 2, Folder 11Evelyn Polsey, 1944-1946
Box 2, Folder 12Evelyn Polsey, 1947
Box 2, Folder 13Evelyn Polsey, 1948
Box 2, Folder 14Evelyn Polsey, 1949
Box 2, Folder 15Evelyn Polsey, 1950
Box 2, Folder 16Evelyn Polsey, 1951
Box 2, Folder 17Evelyn Polsey, 1952
Box 2, Folder 18Evelyn Polsey, 1953
Box 2, Folder 19Evelyn Polsey, 1954
Box 2, Folder 20Evelyn Polsey, 1955
Box 2, Folder 21Evelyn Polsey, undated
Box 2, Folder 22Evelyn Polsey, Birthday cards, undated
Box 2, Folder 23Evelyn Polsey, Christmas cards, undated
Box 2, Folder 24Evelyn Polsey, Easter cards, undated
Box 2, Folder 25Evelyn Polsey, other cards, undated
Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1Helena Sarle, 1947-1954
Box 3, Folder 2Beatrice Stackpole, undated
Box 3, Folder 3Lena Thomas, undated
Box 3, Folder 4Louisa F. T?, 1931-1932
Box 3, Folder 5Miriam Wall, undated
Box 3, Folder 6Josephine Wilson, 1925
Box 3, Folder 7Mary Louise Wilson, cards, undated
Box 3, Folder 8From various Shakers, undated
Box 3, Folder 9From various girls at Shaker community, undated
Box 3, Folder 10Between various Shakers, undated
Box 3, Folder 11Miscellaneous birthday cards, not identified, undated
Box 3, Folder 12Miscellaneous, Christmas cards from the Canterbury Shakers, undated
Box 3, Folder 13Miscellaneous, 1930-1937

Series 2: School Materials, Articles, and Stationary 1937-1992

Box 3
Box 3, Folder 14Autographed sentiments written to Eleanor from the Shakers, the Shaker children, and other friends, 1937-1940
Box 3, Folder 15Blank cards and postcards, undated
Box 3, Folder 16"Canterbury Shaker Sweater," pattern, 1989
Box 3, Folder 17The Canterbury Shakers," Vol. 2 #1; Vol. 6 #1, 1982, 1986
Box 3, Folder 18Catalogs from the Shaker Workshops, 1972; 1983
Box 3, Folder 19Funeral programs, 1938-1965
Box 3, Folder 20Invitations to parties, undated
Box 3, Folder 21"The News," various issues, 1988-1992
Box 3, Folder 22Newspaper clippings and articles about the Shakers, undated
Box 3, Folder 23Paintings (watercolor) by Helena Sarle, undated
Box 3, Folder 24Programs and pamphlets from Canterbury, undated
Box 3, Folder 25"The Shaker Legacy," calendar, 1991
Box 3, Folder 26Shaker School, commonplace book kept by Eleanor Parmenter while in school, undated
Box 3, Folder 27Shaker School, composition book kept by Eleanor Parmenter that describes various paintings (art history), undated
Box 3, Folder 28Shaker school, misc. files, undated
Box 3, Folder 29Transcriptions of poetry and music, undated (**also see Box 6 and Ovsz Box 1)

Series 3: Photographs (mostly undated), 1800s-1979

Box 3, Folder 1Photos of Shakers:
  • 1. Sister M. Catherine Allen (sepia, 8 x 4cm, half of postcard)
  • 2. Sister Flora Appleton and unidentified woman (black and white, 8 x 11 1/2cm)
  • 3. Elder Arthur Bruce (3 photos: black and white, 9x12; black and white, 5x8, black and white, 5x8, with negative), 1933; 1957
  • 4. Antoinette Chandler
  • 5. Eleanor Parmenter Churchill
  • 6. Eleanor Parmenter Churchill
  • 7. Eleanor Parmenter Churchill
  • 8. Eleanor Parmenter Churchill
  • 9. Eleanor Parmenter Churchill
  • 10. Sam Churchill
  • 11. Martha Coombs
  • 12. Dorothea Cochran
  • 13. Aida Elam
  • 14. Edith Eunice
  • 15. Ethel Frost
  • 16. Marguerite Frost
  • 17. Eva Gardner
  • 18. Irving Greenwood - includes pictures of buildings on Mt. Washington taken by I.G.
  • 19. Rebecca Hathaway
  • 20. Ethel Hudson
  • 21. Emma King
  • 22. Bertha Lindsay
  • 23. Mary Alice McCoy
  • 24. Ethel Phelps
  • 25. Lillian Phelps
  • 26. Evelyn Polsey
  • 27. Evelyn Polsey
  • 28. Helena Sarle
  • 29. Gertrude Soule
  • 30. Gertrude Stanley
  • 31. Miriam Wall
  • 32. Pets and horse
  • 33. Unidentified Individuals
  • 34. Unidentified Individuals
  • 35. Eleanor (Ellie) Parmenter and Alberta Hudson
  • 36. Sister Evelyn Polsey and Eleanor Parmenter in radio room.
  • 37. Mary Alice McCoy, Miriam Wall, Bertha Lindsey, Alberta Hudson, Hazel Smith and Eleanor
  • 38. Elizabeth Gilbert, Beatrice Stackpole, Eleanor, Shirley Dunlap, Anna Dunlap, and Elsie Dunlap
  • 39. Front row: Rosamond, Ellen Walker, Hazel Smith, Marion Hoyt Middle row: Unidentified, Eleanor, Lena Thomas Back row: Sister Marguerite Frost, Beatrice Stackpole
  • 40. Front row: Marion Hoyt, Hazel Smith, Ellen Walker Middle row: Eleanor, Rosamond, Lena Thomas Back row: Beatrice Stackpole, Sister Marguerite Frost
  • 41. Auntie ? and Eleanor standing by a fence
  • 42. Beatrice Stakeploe, Alberta MacMillan (Hudson), Eleanor and standing is Martha Coombs with beadspreads in the background
  • 43. Elanor, Laura, Peggy Roberts, Hazel Toourtelot (?), Emmeline Van Gilder, Rex the dog playing in a pile of hay
  • 44. Eleanor, Evelyn Polsey, Aida Elam in the dining room
  • 45. Eleanor, Evelyn Polsey, Aida Elam in the dining room
  • 46. Alberta Hudson, Martha Coombs, Eleanor standing on a fence waving
  • 47. Group shot of 39 Children
  • 48. Sammy Churchill, Evelyn Polsey, Helena Sarle, two unidentified friends of the Shakers
  • 49. Sammy and Eleanor Churchill 1942
  • 50. Eleanor, Bertha Lindsay, Gertrude Soule, 1988
  • 51. Margaret Elwell, Ellie Churchill, Pat Patterson 1962
  • 52. Bob ?, Eleanor, Ralph ?
Box 4
Box 4, Folder 2Photos of Shakers
  • 1. Evelyn Polsey and Aida Elam, in kitchen, with wagon of Shaker Brick Oven Baked Beans, and outside buildings (5 photos)
  • 2. Evelyn Polsey and Helena Sarle, standing and seated outside (2 photos)
  • 3. Aida Elam at the piano and Lillian Phelps at the organ (2 photo postcards)
  • 4. Emma King and Rebecca Hathaway, standing
  • 5. Anne Baker, Edna Fitts, Lucy Shepard, Julia Briggs, seated outside building
  • 6. Edith Eunice and Ida Crook, standing outside building
  • 7. Jessie Evans and Mary Alice McCoy standing outside building
  • 8. Ursala Gillette and Bertha Lindsay(?) with float for a Shaker parade
  • 9. Miriam Wall and Aida Elam, knitting at desks
  • 10. Anne Baker (Fannie Fellon?) and Lilliam Phelps, seated
  • 11. Sarah Frances Wilson and Jennie Meade, seated
  • 12. Bertha Lindsay and Lillian Phelps making poplar baskets
  • 13. Lucy Hunt and Aida Elam at the piano
  • 14. Marguerite Frost with camera and Evelyn Polsey standing
  • 15. Bertha Lindsay and Marguerite Frost with school children
  • 16. Unidentified individual, Sister Blanche, Josephine Wilson (seated)
  • 17. Left: Marguerite Frost, Mary Louise Wilson, Antionette Chandler Right: Unidentified, Frieda Weeks, Edith Eunice.
  • 18. Evelyn Polsey, Helena Sarle, Aida Elam, outdoors (2 photos)
  • 19. Mary Alice McCoy(?), Miriam Wall, Bertha Lindsay, standing outside a building
  • 20. Evelyn Polsey, Alice Howland, Aida Elam, Rebecca Hathaway, Helena Sarle, Emma King, indoors, 1955 (2 photos)
  • 21. Alice Howland, Mary Alice McCoy, Helena Sarle, Evelyn Polsey, a friend, Ethel Eunice, Arthur Bruce, seated, picnicing
  • 22. Emma King, friend, Marguerite Frost, Aida Elam, Evelyn Polsey, Ethel Eunice, Unidentified, Helena Sarle, Rebecca Hathaway, Alice McNear(?)
  • 23. Evelyn Polsey and Marie, standing outside
  • 24. Evelyn Polsey, standing and Sam Churchill, weeding in the garden
  • 25. Josephine Wilson with a friend, standing outside
  • 26. Bertha Lindsay, Gertrude Soule, and Dick Schopp, Feb. 1986
  • 27. Helena Sarle and Rebecca Hathaway, standing outside
  • 28. Shaker Orchestra: Marguerite Frost (sax), Alice Howland (violin), Ethel Eunice (Sax), Aida Elam (cello), Frieda Weeks (piano), Evelyn Polsey (violin), Helena Sarle (trumpet)
Box 4, Folder 3Photos of the "Shaker children":
  • 1. Evelyn Polsey and Emily Colby as children
  • 2. Front row: Ellen Walker Razzi, Hazel Smith Eaton, Rosamond Start Alger Back row: Beatrice Stackpole, Marguerite Frost, on steps of a building
  • 3. Ellen Walker, Marion Hoyt, Rosamond Start, Lena Thomas, Helen Hoyt, Hazel Smith, Unidentified, outside (2 photos)
  • 4. Peggy and Gertrude Roberts, outside a building
  • 5. Rosamond Start Alger and Hazel Smith Eaton, with irons in laundry room, 1988 (?)
  • 6. Helen Hoyt, Rosamond Start Alger, and Hazel Smith Eaton, in drying room, 1988 (?)
Box 4, Folder 4Tour Groups at Shaker Village:
  • 1. Bud Thompson taking a group through the Village, 1980
  • 2. Nola Stokes taking a group through the Village, 1984
  • 3. Group at the Shaker Village, 1988
Box 4, Folder 5Dogsled, group shots
Box 4, Folder 6Graduation, 1930
Box 4, Folder 7Hampton Beach, Franconia Notch, and Boer's Head trips, ca. 1930
Box 4, Folder 8Hurricane of 1938 1938
Box 4, Folder 9Reunion, Shaker Village, 1979
Box 4, Folder 10Trip to Shaker Camp on Lake Winnisquam, 1927
Box 4, Folder 11Unidentified play or program, people dressed as angels
Box 4, Folder 12Unidentified play or program, people dressed as Indians
Box 4, Folder 13Other scenes of plays and parades
Box 5
Box 5, Folder 1Stereoscopic views of Canterbury Shaker Village, 1800s
Box 5, Folder 2Buildings at Canterbury Shaker Village: Horse Barn; Old Church; Lower Mill; Sister's Shop; Shaker's Shed; Barns; Dwelling House; Garage and Electric Light Plant; Basket Shed; Laundry; Syrup Shop; Saw Mill; Infirmary; Office
Box 5, Folder 3Inside buildings at Canterbury Shaker Village: Chapel; Kitchen; Power House; Radio Room; Dining Room; Laundry Room; Old Church; Cow Barn; Dairy
Box 5, Folder 4Outside scenes of the Shaker Village
Box 5, Folder 5Shaker furniture

Series 4: Material files, 1927-1987

Box 6
Box 6, Folder 1Shaker stuffed toy zebra, undated
Box 6, Folder 2Shaker bean bag toy clown, undated
Box 6, Folder 3Shaker stuffed toy dog, undated
Box 6, Folder 4Linen handkerchief with needle point flower done by Rebecca Hathaway, undated
Box 6, Folder 5Brown swatch of cloth with pink needle point design, undated
Box 6, Folder 6Shaker fine work lace, undated
Box 6, Folder 7Needle holder with "Eleanor" written on the front, undated
Box 6, Folder 8Spoon owned by Evelyn Polsey, undated
Box 6, Folder 9Potholder made by Myra Green (age 102), undated
Box 6, Folder 10Yellow needle and pin sharpener shaped like a strawberry, undated
Box 6, Folder 11Blue and green ibid, undated
Box 6, Folder 12Eleanor's hair saved from first cutting, 1927
Box 6, Folder 13Cassette tape (Sony HF 90): Bertha Lindsay and Gertrude Soule taped telephone conversations, 1986-1987
Box 6, Folder 14Cassette tape (Compact cassette C-90): Christmas greetings from Bertha Lindsay, Dec. 1986
Box 6, Folder 15Cassette tape (Memorex dBS 60): Ray Lajoie, Barney Larri, Norman, Robbie Bertha Lindsay and Gertrude Soule, undated
Oversize Box 1
Oversize Box 1, 1"Scrapbook I [Eleanor Parmenter] filled at the Shakers,"1926-1939
Oversize Box 1, 2Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and mementos about and from the Shakers, 1950s-1992
Oversize Box 1, 3Student's Certificate for the Palmer Method of Business Writing granted to Eleanor Parmenter in 19301930
Finding Aid Image TEMP
  • Churchell standing in the Shaker meeting house


Audio Recordings
Letters & Postcards
Photographs, Slides & Negatives