Friday, December 19, 2008

Simple gifts

I've always been fascinated by The Shakers.

From their furniture and crafts -- so elegant and simple -- to their beliefs --they were early feminists, their whole order founded by a woman -- to the completely strange devotion to celibacy which naturally doomed them, they are a truly unique group.

I Netflixed Ken Burns' show about them, and it's really interesting. Some of the surviving Shakers are interviewed in it -- according to Wikipedia there are only four left, in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.

I would like to tour either that museum or Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts someday, when Kelly is old enough to appreciate it a little.


Adrienne said...

You might also like the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, KY (I know, a little out of the way for you!) A stay at the sparsely-furnished inn and a slice of Shaker lemon pie are not to be missed. The Shakers were incredibly interesting people.

briank said...

The Shaker Village at Sabbathday Lake is just a few minutes outside my hometown. There isn't a lot to see compared to the gazillions of other historical sites all over New England; the one in NH is much more interesting as a museum. Locally they are known for the beautiful sweaters they knit and sell in the gift shop.

Anonymous said...

Gael - we stayed at Pleasant Hill in Kentucky a few years ago, and it was a wonderful surprise. The food alone was worth the trip, but the architecture, the guides, and the setting were all great too. We stayed overnight and took the river boat trip the next day.

Just touring the grounds, and walking through the same buildings where the Shakers lived and worked was one of those special 'out of time' experiences.

I've never been to the site in Niskayuna, even though my relatives live there. It's enough to spell it!