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Canterbury Shaker Village
A Fascinating Place to Visit
It was a gray and rainy day when we visited the Shaker Village in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Rain or shine, it's a marvelous place to see the buildings and way of life of this religious community that has essentially died out.
The buildings are large since the people lived communally. One building is the dining hall, another was for women, and another for the men of the community.
The village was established in 1792 and became a museum in 1992. At one time there were 100 buildings, but only 25 are still there.
Note the Building Styles
Most of the living quarters were multi-storied and had a stone foundation and stone steps. Although many were painted white, a few buildings were other colors. This light brown building housed the medicinal syrup distillery. Other buildings were for woodworking, a school, a laundry, a creamery, and they even had their own firehouse.
A Dwelling House
The white dwelling house below is the largest of the remaining buildings. It contains sleeping rooms, common areas, a chapel, and cooking and dining areas.
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Native Stone Steps and Stone Foundations
The Shakers were industrious and inventive, so their communities thrived through the 1800s.
Below is an example of the foundation work. Of course, in New Hampshire, there is plenty of stone for use in building and wood from the forests too.
Canterbury Is North of Concord, NH
Learn More about the Shakers
- The Shakers: Masters of Invention
In the fall of two thousand and eight, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Pleasantville,Kentucky, where there is a working farm and living history museum for the Shaker people. This village is completely operational, consisting of an...