Held at: Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust [Contact Us]P.O. Box 42, Chester Springs, PA, 19425
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
"Eleanor May Morris [(1919-2011) was]...a pioneer in using conservation easements to save open space... Mrs. Morris was very active in politics, land conservation, historic preservation, and many facets of community life. Her deepest commitment was to conserving open space.
"In 1967, she and her husband [Samuel W. Morris] founded the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust. The mission of the Trust was to preserve open space in the watersheds of the two creeks, as well as historic buildings and communities. It was among the first organizations in the nation to promote the preservation of open space through the use of conservation easements, a novel approach at that time. Under her leadership, the Trust convened national conferences on open space preservation to share innovative techniques with others.
"Mrs. Morris was the driving force behind the Trust from its founding until 2002 and she served as president for 30 years. During her tenure, the Trust permanently preserved over 7,000 acres through donated and purchased conservation easements as well as public/private partnerships. In addition, it placed over 60 sites and districts on the National Register of Historic Places.
"Mrs. Morris graduated from The Shipley School, attended Radcliffe College, and earned two degrees in American history from Bryn Mawr College, a Bachelor's of Arts in 1941 and a Master's of Arts in 1970.
"Eleanor and Sam Morris moved to Lundale Farm [in South Coventry Township] in northern Chester County in 1946. They established a dairy herd and raised sheep, pigs, beef, chickens and vegetables.
"Mrs. Morris became involved in the Chester County Democratic Party shortly after moving to South Coventry and served as a Committee person for 60 years. When Mr. Morris ran on the Democratic ticket for the Pennsylvania Legislature, she threw herself into managing his campaigns. He was elected in 1970 and served as the state representative for the 155th District for 18 years.
"Throughout that time, Mrs. Morris was his chief strategist and tireless supporter. Mrs. Morris' interest in preserving land, streams, and history coalesced when the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust acquired an 18th-century flour mill and the land surrounding it in Chester Springs to save the property from development. She was a founding member of The Mill at Anselma Preservation and Education Trust [in 1998] when the mill, now a National Historic Landmark, was spun off as a separate not-for-profit organization."
In addition to being instrumental in the preservation of the property and buildings of the Mill at Anselma, Mrs. Morris was friends with Oliver Collins, the last miller at Anselma before its sale to the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust in 1982.
Quoted text from: Jusinski, Lynn. "Obituary: Eleanor May Morris, Co-Founder of French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust." September 12, 2011. Accessed April 14, 2014. http://phoenixville.patch.com/groups/obituaries/p/obituary-eleanor-may-morris-co-founder-of-french-and-dce3ee584b.
This collection consists of records from the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust (FPCCT) and the Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust (MAAPET) from Eleanor Morris' home office. The files relate to the Anselma Mill, including FPCCT's acquisition of its property and buildings in the early 1980s, the establishment of the Mill at Anselma as an historic site, and the formation of MAAPET in 1998.
Documents in the collection include: MAAPET meeting minutes and other administrative records; financial records such as budget figures and funding applications; correspondence, including a large amount with Dr. Henry A. Jordan (a local conservationist and philanthropist who was a member of the board of the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust); property and legal records; reports and plans; historic site analysis and archaeology findings at the site; fundraising materials; newspaper clippings; letters to press; speeches; information on the Collins family; reports on the mill; maps and drawings of the building and property; information on related historical societies and historic sites such as Newlin Grist Mill and Chester County Historical Society; and materials relating to Hagley Museum and Library's interest in and documentation of the site in the early 1970s.
The materials are ordered roughly chronologically. Some early records refer to the Mill at Anselma as Collins Mill, using the name of the last family to operate the mill.
Gift of Eleanor Morris estate, circa 2012.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust directly for more information.
- Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Contact Mill at Anselma Preservation and Educational Trust for information about accessing this collection.