The Shaker Historical Society and Museum
Featuring a Collection of Artifacts From the North Union Shaker Colony
The Shakers The Shaker sect was founded in England by
Mother Ann Lee. In 1774 Mother Ann and eight followers came to America seeking
religious freedom and established their first permanent settlement near Albany,
New York. During the 19th century Shaker membership grew to about 6000 converts
living in 19 settlements throughout New England and the Midwest.
The North Union Shakers The North Union colony, also
known as "The Valley of God's Pleasure," was one of the last to be formed. It
was established in 1822 by Ralph Russell, Warrensville settler and land owner,
and included many members of his family and more than 80 of his neighbors.
The Van Sweringen Brothers and Shaker Heights The property formerly owned by the Shakers was bought in 1905 by two entrepreneurs, M.J. and O.P. Van Sweringen. They developed Shaker Village, later called Shaker Heights, as one of the first "Garden City" suburbs in this country. The "Vans" built beautiful homes, planted trees, provided land for schools and churches, added to the lakes built by the Shakers, and developed the Rapid Transit System to provide convenient commuting to downtown Cleveland. Since that time, the City of Shaker Heights has thrived and upheld standards of excellence reminiscent of the early Shaker community.
The Shaker Historical Society The Shaker Historical Society was organized in 1947 to preserve and promote an appreciation of the heritage of the early Shaker community, of the early settlers of Warrensville Township, and the history of Shaker Heights. Towards these goals the Society: Maintains the Shaker Historical Museum. Provides a permanent exhibit of Shaker furniture and artifacts, with special focus on the contributions and legacy of the North Union Shakers. Conducts Museum tours for individuals, civic, and educational groups. Cooperates with local school systems in the development of curricula emphasizing early Shaker history. Presents a variety of programs related to the history of Cleveland and the Western Reserve.
The Shaker Historical Museum The Shaker Historical Museum was established in 1956 to house the Shaker Historical Society's collection of fine Shaker furniture and artifacts. The Museum moved to its present location after Frank A. Myers, a trustee, donated his family's Tudor mansion for use by the Society. It occupies what was once the site of the largest of three North Union Shaker dwellings, their apple orchard and vegetable gardens. The Shaker legacy of perfection, simplicity, utility, and durability are well reflected in the Museum's substantial collection of Shaker artifacts from North Union and other Shaker settlements.
The Elizabeth B. Nord Library Located on the second floor of the Museum, the library contains an extensive collection of books and archival materials about the Shakers, early Warrensville history, and the development of Shaker Heights. The library is open to members and is available to researchers by appointment.
The Spirit Tree Museum Shop A member of The Museum Store Association, the Museum Shop is open during Museum hours and offers unique educational books, cards, souvenirs, and fine Shaker miniatures and reproductions.
Open: Tuesday through Friday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Open: Sunday 2:00 - 5:00 PM
General Admission fee to Museum and Nord Library:
LOCATION & DIRECTIONS
View (and print) a map courtesy of Mapquest.
Shaker Historical Society
Web Site: www.shakerhistory.org
For information on activities and events
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