Canterbury Shaker Village

We did spend one day away from the lake while we were at Squam.  Mark had a golf tournament, so I took the kids to Canterbury Shaker Village.  I'd wanted to see this historical site for many years and it didn't disappoint, even though we went there on one of the hottest days of the year.

We started off at the Children's Activity Center, one of the few air conditioned buildings.  Chloe and I tried out this floor loom and had great fun working it.  Chloe is interested in having her own loom now. 

We did the orange part here.

We took two tours while there as that is the only way to see inside many of the buildings.  Unfortunately, no inside pictures are allowed due to so many of the artifacts being on loan, as well as the fear of degradation from flashes.  This is the meeting house, with two front doors, the left side door is for the brothers to enter, the right side door for the sisters.

We got a tour of the school house which was very interesting.  The Shakers were a celibate group, so to add to their community they took in many children to raise.  At first the children were not schooled at all, then for only a short time.  In later years they came to believe in the importance of school and had something similar to public schools of the day.  Chloe got to ring the school bell here (shown just to the left above the door).  This is an authentic Franklin and Sons bell.


The garden was quite impressive, though by the time we got there we were too hot and tired to take more than a cursory look.  The village does have some special harvest days that sound like they'd be a lot of fun to see.  Can you imagine how pretty this place will be come October?

I believe this is the Sister's Shop, so called because they performed many of their dressmaker's and other sewing activities there.  It was just next to the sister's side of the dwelling house and the laundry, another of the sister's traditional jobs. 

The way the Shaker's divided work and created many new inventions is fascinating to me.  I've long admired the Shaker style of woodwork as well as their simplicity.  We learned many new things while on the tours and it was a great trip.  Next time just remind me to visit in the fall instead of the heat of the summer!