Hancock Shaker Village: Hancock, MA
Located in Hancock, Massachusetts is the most beautiful place called the Hancock Shaker Village. Few places have left a lasting impression on me quite like this place. Whether it was the worn paint, the beautifully woven chairs or the thoughtfully created vignettes this place was an intense sensory experience for me.
As we walked around the property, I soaked up every square inch of its beauty. The village was established in 1791, closed in 1960 and sold to a local group who run it as a museum. The Hancock Shaker Village is the perfect balance of preservation and restoration. For the few hours we spent there we were able to get a good sense of what it might have been like to live there.
The Shaker religion began in 1747 by a charismatic woman named Ann Lee. It is documented she had visions which taught her only through renouncing carnal knowledge/desires could individuals attain entrance into heaven. At its height there were over 5,000 believers and nineteen Shaker villages.
The Shakers were a fascinating group of people who firmly believed in gender equality, celibacy, and communal living to name a few. They worked hard and supported themselves through farming and the selling of their seeds. The Shakers were respected for their cleanliness, and their farming innovations which include this beautiful round barn.
If you would like to plan your own visit, check out their website: http://hancockshakervillage.org
I am still kicking myself for not picking up one of their beautiful oval boxes while I was there.