Shaker Museum

Wells, Jennie (1878-1956)

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Jennie Wells came to the Groveland, NY community when she was four years old. She remained a Shaker for the rest of her life during a period when many families and then communities were closing, so that over her lifetime she lived in six Shaker families. She lived in the West and then East Families of Groveland. When that community closed in 1892, she moved to Watervliet, NY, where she lived in the North and then South Families. In 1931, she moved to the North Family at Mount Lebanon. She has been blamed in part for the closure of that community in 1947, as the publication of remarks she made in the New Yorker angered Frances Hall of the Ministry, though the North Family had also been in financial straits. She then moved to Hancock, and died there in 1956. She was known for her spirited conversations with visitors and journalists, and she worked with Dr. Charles Adams of the New York State Museum to help build its collection of Shaker artifacts while she lived at Watervliet and Mount Lebanon. While at Hancock, she donated or sold pieces she'd made or worked on to the Shaker Museum and Library.


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Shaker Museum Wells, Jennie (1878-1956). Accessed on June 3, 2023

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