A Passion for a Special Place

Margaret Graves, Campaign Director

Ellen Chapman has a special passion for Shaker Village. She first visited Shaker Village as a young child with her grandmother Martha Ricker Ingels. Mrs. Ingels grew up in Harrodsburg, KY and had a camp on Lake Herrington where Ellen often visited in the summer. Ellen remembers her grandmother talking about how she would drive down US 68 when it went directly through Shaker Village. Ellen and her grandmother would bring friends or out of town guests to Shaker Village for lunch and to explore the legacy of the Shakers.

Chapman (left) pictured in front of the Trustees’ Office at Shaker Village.

Ellen joined the Shaker Village Board of Trustees in May, 2001. She was recruited to the Board by Mr. Alex G. Campbell who was a close friend of Ellen’s father, Mr. Ambrose W. “Buster” Givens. Jim Thomas was the President & CEO of Shaker Village at the time.

Ellen’s first task as a Board member was to help develop the trail system for horseback riding. Ellen and her friends continue to enjoy the trails at Shaker Village today. The Preserve at Shaker Village includes 3,000 acres and 37 miles of multi-use trails.

Chapman and friends on a trail ride.

Ellen also helped start the first Plen Air Painting workshops at Shaker Village. Thanks to these contributions Shaker Village continues to be a favorite spot for artists of all types.

Ellen has always had an interest in American Folk Arts, especially the Shakers’ incredible craftsmanship. She minored in art history at Hollins College. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Divisional Social Science in 1976 from Hollins College after graduating from Sayre School in 1972.

Ellen currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Campaign for Shaker Village and chairs the Board of Trustees’ Development Committee. She has worked tirelessly to encourage charitable giving to Shaker Village and under her leadership, she has helped to raise substantial funds for the preservation needs of its 34 historic structures. Ellen is passionate about sharing the legacy of the Pleasant Hill Shakers through exhibits and educational programing.  

Ellen has also given countless hours to a number of other non-profit organizations. She is an avid gardener and an active member of The Garden Club of Lexington having served as its President in 2006. She often arranges flowers for Shaker Village’s special events including the non-profit’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2011. The Garden Club of Lexington awarded Shaker Village a Historic Preservation Commendation in 2013 and often supports Shaker Village’s projects. 

In addition, Ellen serves on the Triangle Foundation Board, the Lexington-Frankfort Scenic Corridor Board of Directors and the Colonial Dames Board of Directors.

She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Headley Whitney Museum and Baby Health Services.

Ellen’s family owns and operates Clay – Ingels, a leading supplier of quality building products since 1920. Clay- Ingels is a 4th generation family owned and operated business.

Ellen is a member of the First Presbyterian Church, the Iroquois Hunt Club and the Idle Hour Country Club where she is a top golfer.

Ellen and her husband Bill Chapman have three children: Will Chapman (Georgeanna) of Lexington, Clay Underwood (Martin) of Atlanta and Bowen Chapman (Leslie) of Charleston. Ellen and Bill are the proud grandparents of 10 grandchildren.

The Chapman family.

Ellen is a talented gardener, gracious hostess and tireless champion for the special places she cares deeply about.  We are grateful for her dedication and passion for Shaker Village!

Shaker Village