Just returned from a few days away at Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, KY (southwest of Lexington). The Shakers had a community there in the 1800's that died out (one of their religious tenets was celibacy - d'uh!) and finally it became an historic site. Many many buildings still stand but have been converted for overnight guests. Sparse but pretty and clean. Delicious food at the Trustee's Table restaurant on site and acres of land to walk, investigating inside the buildings, the farm, the stables, hiking trails, etc.
Many of the buildings have two front doors - one side for the men, one side for the women. The church is the same with nothing but hard wooden benches inside and one side was for the women, one for the men, and never the twain shall meet, except during dances, where the parishioners would "shake out their sins" in vigorous dances and singing.
One of my favorite rooms in the Family Building was where they demoed the spinning and weaving. Here, you see the dyed yard (all dyed from natural materials like coffee, rose madder root, indigo, etc.)
Jars of natural things used to dye the yard = cochineal beetles made a dark or light red, osage orange made a buttery yellow orange, celery dyed yard a pale pretty green.
Everywhere you looked, there were stone fences, placed by hand. Also stone buildings as well as brick buildings.
The Farm Deacon's Shop, my favorite building. Love that white fence going around the front and sides.
If you aren't into the architecture and simple beauty of the buildings inside and out, there is always the farm buildings and the chickens, cows, sheep, horses, and some little piggies to see. The place is farmed organically and a lot of what you'll eat at the Trustee's Table comes from the farm itself.
A lot of the cows, including the little calves, had eye patches on - no, it's not that they want to be pirates, they apparently were to protect their eyes from the flies - and one pretty little calf had pinkeye so maybe was spreading that. We saw him being treated after he was separated from his mama (and she was NOT happy about that, making her displeasure known with vigorous moos until he was returned to her side).
In case you were thinking, "Why would I go somewhere that's so primitive?" don't worry - they still had little Keurig coffee-makers in the room as well as indoor baths for the guests :)
The white rooms with the reddish railing is typical of their style, as is the plain rocking chairs. The railings have pegs to hang your clothing (no closets that I saw anywhere). All wooden floors but Tempurpedic beds which are necessary after a long day walking and walking and walking.
Interesting steps placed into the stone walls - one on each side so you just stepped up and over the other side if there was no opening close.
If you go, know that on Monday only it's a "quiet day" which means NONE of the buildings are open for viewing inside. That was a bit of a surprise because I thought it meant there were no programs given that day, but that the buildings would be open. Somehow, we found plenty to do without going inside the buildings on Monday, and took more photos than we'll ever use for anything, but that's what a mini-vacation is all about.
Oh, this is the West Family Wash House (close to the horse stables and several triails for hiking and riding) - so wash up before supper and let's call it a day!