The village dates from early 1800's to 1912. The Shakers were innovators in construction and medicine, and the engineering of some of these buildings is amazing!
Even though we all went into and passed the same buildings and took lots of photos of the same things, all of our pictures are different (just like the same painting done by more than one person!) We also saw different items in some of the buildings and surprised each other when we passed our cameras around in the evening.
The weather was cool and rainy the first day, but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits. The second day dawned sunny and warmer.
I won’t bore you with all the details or all the photos (not enough room on the blog for that!!!), but here are a few you might find of interest.
The top photo is the meeting house - which has an unobstructed hall on the first floor. The weight of the entire building is held by the huge wooden timbers on the 3rd floor, much like a suspension bridge!
This is where the Shakers held their meetings, which could range from 15 minutes or 23 hours! They entered and sat on moveable benches and waited for "the spirit to move them". We watched a presentation of one woman with an amazing voice who sang some of their songs and performed a few of their dances. (The Shakers danced and sang for their worship and would allow visitors who sat around the sides of the hall). When this woman performed the dance and stomped her feet, it hurt my ears. She told us that there would have been hundreds of Shakers in that room at one time dancing - and that they could be heard 4 miles away! They called themselves The Believers, but visitors who watched their dancing and "shaking" during worship coined the name "Shakers".
The floors in the building where we spent the night never even squeaked, nor did the stairs - after all these years (unlike the floors and stairs in my house!!!)
It was a lovely and informative and fun couple of days!