Blog: Canterbury Shaker Village

by GSA Roberta Wells, The Hotel Concord Class of 2019

The lovely cool, crisp fall air on a summer Sunday gave my husband and I the incentive to take a drive and we ended up at the Canterbury Shaker Village. We arrived in between the two tour times of 11 AM and 2 PM so decided to just do a self guided walk around. We started with the approximately 30 minute edited Ken Burns (circa 1980) film that actually featured a few of the last surviving sisters at the time sharing their memories and experiences of Shaker Life.

Many of the buildings were open and had interpretive signage. There were a few docents in some of the buildings to answer questions and provide some guidance.

Shakers we a very industrious and innovative sect and were actually early adopters and inventors of technological improvements that would make their lives and work easier. Most people think of oval boxes and ladder back chairs with woven seats when they think of products the Shakers produced. But did you know they were among the first in the area to electrify their property with their own DC power generator.

The museum is open Tuesday thru Sunday and does offer two guided tours a day at 11 AM and 2 PM. It would be well worth planning your visit to take advantage of this 75 minute introduction to the village. There are also hourly presentations throughout the village on a variety of subjects from Life Among the Shakers to Carpentry & Woodwork. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays there are several demonstrations of Shaker crafts you can observe. If you need a break there is also a small cafe that offers beverages and light lunch items or sweet treats.

It’s a beautiful setting and definitely worth the picturesque drive to get there.