Enfield Shaker Museum
When the Shakers settled on the site of Lower Shaker Village they called their home the "Chosen Vale." Nestled in a lush valley between Mt. Assurance and Mascoma Lake, it is easy to see why this site has been cherished for two hundred years. Founded in 1793, this village was the 9th of 18 Shaker communities to be established in this country. At its peak in 1850, more than 300 adults and children lived, worked, and worshipped in this community. They practiced equality of the sexes and races, celibacy, pacifism, and communal ownership of property as they strove to create heaven on earth.
In 1923 after 130 years of farming, manufacturing, and productive existence, declining membership forced the Shakers to close their community and put it up for sale. In 1927, the LaSalette, an order of Catholic priests, purchased the village and established a seminary and high school. In 1985 the property changed hands again when the remaining buildings and grounds were purchased by a group of private investors.
The Enfield Shaker Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Enfield, N.H. Shakers. Since opening in 1986, the Museum has developed educational exhibits and programs designed to invite active participation in learning about the extraordinary people who once lived and worked here.
Through the efforts and support of hundreds of volunteers, the Museum purchased the Laundry/Dairy Building in December, 1991. In March, 1993, the Museum acquired the Stone Mill Building and the West Meadow Barn, the 18 acres of land surrounding them, and permanent title to the collection of Shaker artifacts. On September 1997 the Enfield Shaker Museum purchased the historic core of the village, including the famous Great Stone Dwelling. The negotiations to secure these buildings also resulted in the purchase of 1100 acres of Shaker fields, pastures and forest by the State of New Hampshire. These lands are now permanently protected from development with guaranteed public access for recreational purposes.
The Enfield Shaker Museum offers year-round opportunities for families and individuals, including a full schedule of events, workshops, tours, exhibits, and craft demonstrations. Plan a visit to the Museum where you can view eight Shaker buildings on a self-guided tour, take in the exquisite sights and smells of our Shaker Gardens, watch skilled artisans demonstrate their traditional crafts, learn the story of the Enfield Shakers through exhibits of their furniture, tools, clothing, and historic photographs, and browse through the Shaker Store. Five Shaker buildings may also be viewed at the abutting Lasalette Shrine.
The Enfield Shaker Museum is open year-round: Monday thru Saturday 10:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M. Sunday Noon to 4:00 P.M. Last tour is at 4:00 pm.
The Museum is closed: on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Presidents' Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Admission Includes: the introductory video program, guided tours, exhibits, and craft demonstrations. During the Summer and Fall Season, you receive access to other historic buildings, the Herb and Production Garden, the Community Garden, and the Feast Grounds. Make sure to allow time to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette located across the street.
Guidelines for Group Reservations:
Reservations for a group visit must be made in advance.
Cost is $10.00 per person.
A deposit of $40.00 is due at the time the reservation is made. Your tour date will not be confirmed until your deposit is received.
Guided Tours: of the Great Stone Dwelling are offered Friday through Monday.
Self Guided Tours: of the site and use of the trails are offered everyday.
LOCATION & DIRECTIONS
The Enfield Shaker Museum is located on Route 4-A in Enfield, New Hampshire (12miles southeast of Hanover, N.H.). Take Exit 17 off I-89. At the end of the ramp turn right on to Route 4 east. Travel approximately 1.5 miles on Route 4 east and then turn right on to Route 4-A at the blinking light. It is then 3.5 miles to the Village; follow signs to the Museum.
View (and print) a map courtesy of Mapquest.
The Enfield Shaker Museum
Web Site: www.shakermuseum.org
Enfield Shaker Singers Web Site: www.shakersingers.org
For information on activities and events
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