For our anniversary, Sweetie and I drove down to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, just south-west of Lexington (close to Harrodsburg). Love that place and it's peacefulness.
Here are just a few photos we took of the buildings and other things around the 3,000 acres. Right now, they are still in the process of rehabbing the Family Center so no live demos, but there are still displays out and programs given - usually on weekends.
The Shakers were known for simple designs in their interiors and their furniture (you may have heard of Shaker chairs/tables/etc.) Although the colors are muted, they did not begin that way, being painted blue with Prussian Blue and Cochineal for reds. They became oxidized and muted over the decades by mixing the paint with linseed oil.
You can feel the serenity and peace as you walk along paths the Shakers walked 150 year's ago (there are still 2 Shakers living in the northeast but they are the last).
The Shakers grew mulberry trees to feed and grow their own silkworms, harvesting the silk to weave into beautiful scarves and dresses. This irridescent silk scarf looks like it was dyed purple but it's really a woven scarf of two colors - indigo and cochineal - woven so tightly that it makes it look purple and there is a shine to it that still holds up to this day. Beautiful.
There are handlaid stone walls all around the property (a sure sign you are in central Kentucky). These walls are handlaid with no cementing, just laid for the stones to fit and hold. This was a wall close to a water house and spring.
This round feature within a wall is near the barn at the farm. The Shakers grew their own food and were very self-sufficient. So much so that they even exported products made (brooms, clothing, baskets, furniture, produce) to New Orleans when they were at their peak.
Everyone lived and worked together. There was no difference made in the rights of women and men, whites and blacks. If you were a slave-holder and came to Shaker Village to live, you freed your slave and he or she became a full member of the congregation. They had 2 male ministers and 2 female ministers who led the congregation but all were equal to stand up and talk as the spirit moved them during worship services. The worship services had no set time for length - the shortest one recorded being 15 minutes and the longest being 23 hours!
The building that housed the worshippers was built without crosses or pulpits but moveable benches so they could be pushed back and the congregation could get up and move about in rhythmic movements as they sang. The reverberation in the building was such that they could be heard singing 20 miles away!