Hancock Shaker Village, a beautifully restored village, set on 1,200 acres of farm, woodland and pasture, is home to the premier collection of Shaker buildings and artifacts. Graceful Shaker furniture, craft and household items are exhibited in 20 historic buildings, each an architectural gem. The Round Stone Barn, most famous of all Shaker buildings, is a testament to Shaker efficiency, innovation and design.
The Shakers called this community “The City of Peace”. The Village is located in the heart of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. This picture was taken on our New England trip last fall (September 2007).
The Shakers, a Protestant religious denomination officially called The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, originated in Manchester, England in 1772 under the leadership of Mother Ann Lee, who moved the nine-person group to New York in 1774. The Shakers built 19 communal settlements that attracted some 200,000 converts over the next century. Strict believers in celibacy, Shakers maintained their numbers through conversion and adoption of orphans. Turnover was very high; the group reached maximum size of about 6,000 full members in 1840, but now has only four members left. Only a few of the original Shaker buildings are still in use today. (From wikipedia)