Shaker Village

Hancock Travel Blog

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So I have been up here in the Pittsfield, MA area for a week and every day I pass the Hancock Shaker Village while en route to the Bronx with the Cement slabs.. I found the large buildings and simple architecture to be intriguing and picturesque. And of course there was no way that I could resist the baby animal exhibit!

My knowledge of the Shaker culture was a bit limited. I knew that the community was known for its crafts and unique lifestyle choices.. But I didn't know the small details of the community. I always thought that they were as isolated from the modern world as the amish are, but I was wrong!! While they did live in isolated communities so as to preserve their way of life they were still very much apart of the greater community through economy and technology! Their talents in woodworking, leather tannery, basket making and cloth were valuable goods sold to the public.
Even today shaker style of furniture is loved and cherished by many Americans! as for technology I learned that while the Shakers dressed in simple frocks and maintain many of the traditions set before them they still valued new technology and were always looking for ways to use new technologies to improve the village! In fact they loved their cars and would collectively buy a new one every year.. Even today the organization that runs the village (the shakers are no longer there) are continuing with the shaker's open mindedness for technology by installing solar power panel..

Other points of interest with the community is the simple architecture and those "unique" lifestyle choices.. As stated the Shakers valued simplicity in their lives.. My understanding is that frivolous details will distract from a pious life.
. The shakers were also known for being a celibate community. Men and women spent most of their time separate from one another with a few exceptions and in order to keep the community thriving for future generations they would go to local orphanages for children to raise.. I think that the changes in how adoptions are run probably has a big part in why the shaker population has drastically dwindled in size in the last fifty years.. just a thought.

The village was really cool to visit! though an expensive place to visit ($17 for one person!) and due to the season a section of the village was not open. Because of this I probably won't return for another visit, but still I had fun during the couple of hours that I was there. While I was visiting there was a group of school children visiting, I bet the kids had a blast!

I did love the interaction with the baby animals! It was the main reason to why i went in the first place! But i think the baby animals were more interesting in feeding than to play with me! :P LOL!

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The brother workd house and sister…
The brother workd house and siste…
Me and the speaker box... LOL my a…
Me and the speaker box... LOL my …
Solar power at the SHaker Village!
Solar power at the SHaker Village!
photo by: esterrene