SITE HISTORY:

This Victorian home was originally built as a summer home in 1890 by Aaron Flint Churchill. He and his wife spent six weeks each summer here along with his niece, Lottie, whom he helped raise with his wife. Aaron was born in Yarmouth county, Nova Scotia on May 19, 1850. He died June 10, 1920 at the age of 70 and is now buried at Darling Lake, Nova Scotia — not too far from the house. He originally named the house “The Anchorage”, but it later became known as the “Churchill Mansion”.

Aaron Churchill moved from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Savannah, Georgia in 1874 at the age of 24. He also married his cousin, Lois, the same year on July 4 (1874). She was eight months older than him. Shortly after moving to Georgia, he started the “Churchill Steamship Line”, and went on to become a principle shareholder in numerous southern cotton plantations in the United States. He was also known for inventing the cotton baling press that saved the industry many millions of dollars. He was known as being among the wealthiest Nova Scotians, resident in the United States.

An author by the name of Archibald MacMechan in his book “At the Harbour Mouth” said about Aaron Churchill:

“he had already been two years at sea, and he was second in command by virtue of his ability, and not by any Board of Trade certificate.”

Captain Aaron Churchill was also known as “Rudder” and “the famous sea captain”. Yet adding to his famous list of heroic deeds (mostly when at sea), he received public recognition from the authorities for his great assistance rendered to victims of the 1917 Halifax Explosion. Three years later he died in Savannah, Georgia. His body was accompanied by Lois and Lottie on a ship back home to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia where he is now buried.

Aaron and Lois had no children. Lois was born Sept 27, 1849 and died in 1928 at the age of 79. She was 71 when Aaron died. His niece, Lotta May Churchill (a.k.a. “Lottie”), was born May 18, 1885 and died May 24, 1971 at the age of 86. Lottie was 35 when Aaron died. She married Armand Rainey.

The ownership of the house went to Lois, when he died. Seven years later on July 14, 1927 the ownership went from Lois to Lottie. Lois died the following year at the age of 79. A business man purchased it in 1972, just over a year after Lottie died. On April 3, 1981 it was purchased by Bob Benson.

Historical sources:
Robert Benson (previous owner)
westerncounties.ca/yarmouthheritage/pages/munprop/churchma.htm
yarmouth.org/villages/darling
marthachurchill.com/family/ch-Will.htm
marthachurchill.com/family/ch-rufus.htm

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