Every other weekend we hop in the van and take off, mission nowhere. We have no plan in mind and often times we just brake for historical markers. Most recently we happened upon the Shaker Village in Enfield, NH. Driving along a random NH road, we figured we were just in some average town with beautiful homes and scenic views but as we ventured further we happened upon a clearing and a historical marker.
History of The Shakers
We noticed the houses here looked older and we are often intrigued by historical homes. As we looked, the historical marker lay on the right hand side of the road so we pulled over to see what it had to say. Apparently we were across the street from The Shaker Museum in Enfield, NH, the past home of The Shakers. This location was the 9th of 18 locations where Shakers settled back in the day in this country. In the year 1793 the Shakers founded this location and built over 200 buildings, farmed 3,000 acres and educated their children in model schools.
Great Stone Dwelling
You can still tour the Great Stone Dwelling that is seated on this property, this is the largest Shaker building ever built and it’s right here in New Hampshire! After 130 years of farming it is sad to say that the Shakers were forced to sell off their property and walk away from Enfield, NH. This was due to a decline in membership and production just not what it used to be. Yet the historical marker states The Shaker’s simply disappeared one day … In 1927 the property sold to an order of the Catholic Priests with the condition that the site would continue the spiritual and communal life. I am not certain if that means the Shakers desired to have their ways of life continued or simply utilize this location as a way to educate others of their heritage.
Enfield Shaker Museum
The Enfield Shaker Museum is open for visitors to stop in and witness the Shaker heritage. Each year this nonprofit organization works to collect various Shaker heritage they can find to ensure the history of this community of people lives on. You can see large buildings; you can see how they lived and learn more about the worship that was involved in this religious group simply by taking some time to tour the Enfield Shaker Museum. While we did not happen to go into the museum, for it was closed on this particular day, we did make sure to capture some photos and learn enough about the location to be intrigued to share it with you all.
Go Learn More …
That’s all for now, we hope you enjoyed reading about this little New Hampshire town that holds much history of The Shakers, a once thriving community of religious folk who worked to keep life simple and be kind to their fellow man. Click here to read more about The Enfield Shaker Museum history.