January 2, 2011

A Shaker Village New Year's Eve Party

At midnight on New Years eve, we all were allowed to ring the old bell in the bell tower in this historic Shaker home where we were invited to attend a very special New Years eve at a party. It is still basically in it's original state, with clapboard-sheathed exterior, granite steps, original glass windows and entrances.

Our friends Glen and Ken invited us to their friends' unique home for an very special 'New England' New Years Eve party. It was held in an authentic circa 1830 Shaker community house which is now a private residence and part of the Harvard Shaker Village Historic District in Harvard, Massachusetts ( this one in the East Village, since there are two in Harvard, the East village and the North Village). The two Shaker villages near each other in Harvard were founded in 1769.

It was delightful to see such a careful and thoughtful restoration project, we could still sense the presence and space as well as the spirit of the Shakers, since the space retained much of it's original woodwork and iron work.

The utopian vision and lifestyle of the Shakers could still be seen in this structure, which is nearly 200 years old ( built 5 floors high, one side of the building intended for Shaker women, the other half for Shaker men, who all ate on the first floor, and worked together building a community. Today, a quarter of the building has been modernized but the rest is completely authentic, with the original windows, floors and a bell tower, which we were all allowed to ring at midnight, a thrilling experience after a glass or two of champagne ( don't tell the Shakers!).

1 comment :

  1. I love anything Shaker! must have been a great party...

    the Shaker museum in Chatham, NY is a must see.

    great blog!


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