Enfield Shaker Museum Begins It's Season April 1st
Mar 28, 2016 07:40PM
● By Kirsten Gehlbach
Imagine a place so beautiful and serene that the Shakers called it the “Chosen Vale.” Nestled in a valley between Mt. Assurance and Mascoma Lake in Enfield, New Hampshire, the Enfield Shaker site has been cherished for more than 200 years. At its peak in the mid 19th century, the community was home to three “families” of Shakers. They practiced equality of the genders and races, celibacy, pacifism, and the communal ownership of property. Shakers farmed over 3,000 acres of land, educated children in model schools, and worshipped in the “Shaker Way.” Today, their story is preserved by the Enfield Shaker Museum . Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the site is a vibrant cultural, community, and educational center. The site and museum offer spectacular views and splendid accommodations.
The Great Stone Dwelling House
Tour the Great Stone Dwelling, the largest Shaker dwelling house ever constructed and home to the museum. Enjoy exhibits, special programs, concerts, guided tours, and craft demonstrations. Hike to the Shaker Feast Ground for a spectacular vista of the Shaker Village nestled along Mascoma Lake.
Shop at the Gift Shop filled with Shaker-inspired reproductions and gifts, a large book collection, CDs and DVDs, and local crafts and farm products, as well as products from the museum’s renowned herb garden. Browse the many oval boxes, carriers, baskets, and brooms made locally and on-site, as well as key chains, ornaments, postcards, and depictions of the buildings by the Cat’s Meow.
Visitors can also buy reproduction Shaker Furniture from Shaker Workshops, a premier maker of quality reproduction Shaker products, or create your own Shaker table, chair, or stool from one of their furniture kits, available for order in the store. Kits can be shipped directly to your home.Museum Admission
Adults: $12, Youth 11 to 17: $8, Children 6 to 10: $3, Children 5 and under: free. Museum Members: Free (with membership card), Group Rate (6+) for 10 or more with advance reservations: $10.
Admission tickets are available on the main floor of the historic Great Stone Dwelling in the Gift Shop. General admission includes the introductory video program, guided tours, exhibits, and craft demonstrations. During the summer and fall, access to other historic buildings, the Herb and Production Garden, the Community Garden, and the Feast Grounds is available. With easy access off Interstates 89 and 91, the museum is located 20 minutes from the Hanover/Lebanon area on Route 4A.
April 1, 2016
Spring Shaker Forum
A weekend of lectures by Shaker scholars, tours of the museum, and a trip to Smith Pond, also known as Shaker Mountain, plus updates on preservation projects, networking with colleagues and friends, lodging and meals in the Great Stone Dwelling, and special presentations on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Sunday, May 1, 10am–4pm
Visit the Museum exhibits and tour the winter preservation projects. The day includes hands-on children’s activities, admission and gift shop savings, and free refreshments.
Register to volunteer in the 2016 archaeological dig, to become a village gardener, for a plot in our Community Garden, or for one of our many educational workshops.
The Community Garden
In 2010, the Enfield Shaker Museum established a community garden to continue the tradition of gardening on the site of the Enfield Shaker Village. The founders wanted to promote sustainable, local growing by offering a garden space where community members could grow their own organic produce while fostering a community spirit. The garden is open to the public, and the season begins in April each year. For information on plots and cost, visit the website at http://shakermuseum.org/communitygardens.htm.
“History Alive Program” for 4th and 5th Grade Students
The Enfield Shaker Museum invites fourth and fifth grade classes for an experiential visit to the museum as part of their study of regional and US history. The Shakers played an important role in history as models for fine craftsmanship and creative inventions. They were known for their integrity in business and stewardship of their land, equality of the sexes, and perhaps most importantly, their dedication to working cooperatively for the benefit of the group, all values that are still important today. Students step off the bus as new members of a Shaker village, learn Shaker songs, attend school in an 1850s’ classroom, and learn through hands-on activities how specific jobs supported the entire community.