Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Canterbury Shaker Village

     I'm a romantic... and most definitely an idealist. Walking the grounds at the Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire gave me a longing to live in a utopian society. The Shakers, correctly known as The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, built at least eighteen communities in North America and are best known for their beautiful furniture and simple, communal lifestyle centered on worshipping God. They were considered one of the most successful utopian societies, having survived for over two hundred years. Their deserted villages remain intact, preserved by historical societies and museums. Visiting one of their villages is like taking a step back into time. As we strolled along the grounds at Canterbury, Chelsea and I tried to work out how we could make this simple, pure lifestyle happen. Steve quickly burst our bubble, realist that he is.
     The Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire is the third Shaker village I have had the opportunity to tour. (The previous two being New Lebanon Shaker Village in New York and Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts.) Their website suggested allowing three to four hours to tour the grounds. We spent six hours there and still didn't go into every building. It was purely fascinating. 
A beautiful allée of Sugar Maples leads to the Meeting House

The only intact, first-generation Shaker Meetinghouse, built in 1792

The Sugar Maples are ancient and so big!

Soapstone tubs in the laundry building. 

In 1942 only a handful of sisters remained in the village so they bought a Maytag and closed the laundry building. We're told the soap has remained there since that day. 

I liked these interior sliding window shutters 
Their handwork was the finest, including these wool socks.

Simple, clean lines

Rear view of the village from the herb garden 
Oh, if only...


  1. Even though we now live in NH, we have never been to Canterbury Village (yet). Thanks for the photo tour and this would be a lovely fall destination.