Hancock Shaker Village


After the frigid air on top of Mt. Greylock, we were happy to spend the rest of day 4 of the Berkshire vacation down on the valley floor. Having heard wonderful things about the authentic and fully restored village of the Shakers… we headed there.

We were also starving, so we were glad to find they had a cafe on site.




It was a cute little place called Seeds, with all the food being organic and locally sourced. Many of the fruits and vegetables from the farm itself.




The seats were handmade, traditionally Shaker in style and surprisingly comfortable.




The menu was a little kale and quinoa heavy for my taste…




But the sandwiches were tasty and the salads crisp and fresh.




Thus fortified, we entered the village.




It’s a large lovely place, full of history and tours we didn’t have the time to take.




A little background:

Hancock was the third among the nineteen major Shaker communities established between 1783 and 1836 in New York, New England, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

The Shaker population reached its peak in the mid-19th century, with an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 members. More than 300 Shakers lived at Hancock during it’s peak. Today, the Shakers only remain active at Sabbathday Lake in Maine, with two Believers.

The Shakers are a religion of friends, and do not engage in sex.

Not too hard to imagine why the idea died out.




This was a beautiful place to tour….




With the dominant feature being the amazing circular stone barn.




The community was entirely self sufficient, and the first building we entered was the big red one in the back.




Laundry was a bit more labor intensive in those days….




And the husband was all for getting me one of these.




That contraption was for heating the irons, with the table behind being the board.




The entire community took meals together, so the kitchen was impressive.




And like most of the village, the pieces are an antique collector’s dream.




Yes, the husband was drooling.




There was a room for everything.




And it was all efficiently laid out.




Simple, quality workmanship.




The buildings were well crafted, filled with natural light and beyond solid.

Apparently the Shaker women were fanatical house cleaners, sweeping and scrubbing nonstop.

But hey, they were celibate.

What else were they gonna do?




41 thoughts on “Hancock Shaker Village”

  1. Well, as you can probably guess, I’ve been to this Shaker Village. When one spends portions of one’s childhood in Pittsfield, one does all the things! I adore the clean lines and subtle colors of Shaker furniture, but when it comes to the food I’m with you. I agree that kale without the “K” is the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Marzipan is made of nuts and sugar. Nuts come from trees and sugar comes from sugar cane or other vegetation. How can two natural vegetable products not be wholesome?
        Added to which nuts are high in selenium so are a natural antidepressant.. therefore marzipan is medication.
        Physician heal thyself and all that!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When I work out hoecake is medication I’ll let you know! I’m working on the preventative hypothesis given that I’ve never killed or maimed anyone while eating cake. My husband says this doesn’t count because I’ve never killed or maimed anyone while not eating cake either. Reminding me of that may be to his eternal regret..


  2. Simple, quality workmanship. ~> yes!

    I kannot abide Kale ~> give me any other kind of green (chard, spinach, bokchoy, collards, beet, etc) and Keep yer Kale! 😆

    The buildings are stunning. I think I visited there as a kids but my memories of it are murky.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok…I’m VERY limited on my “catching up on blogs I love time” a.k.a lunch break, so I couldn’t comment on every post, but I just want to say that you take the most amazing pictures! I love all the historical stuff and the food pics are making me hungrier than I already am! Thank you for letting me “wander” from the comfort of my desk!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Being I grew up in Indiana, I, too, have been to Shaker villages. Quite fond of the aesthetic.
    Another blogger recently informed me of the celibacy — Not fond of that!
    I don’t mind the kale. Sammich looks tasty, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. River, as always, amazing pictures. However, if kale and quinoa are the food of the Shakers…well, I’m with you about going a little light on the “K.” Not big on quinoa either. Personally, I want to drink and then be shaken and stirred. That’s right, more ale and sex and less quinoa and kale. Beautiful farm though.

    Liked by 1 person

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