Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shaker Medicinal Herbs Workshop

Shaker Medicinal Herbs Workshop
Saturday, July 30
at the 1848 Shaker Meeting House

Have you ever wondered about the many herbs growing in the Shaker herb garden? This program will give you an opportunity to learn about how they were grown and used. You will also try making an herbal product to take home! Presented by herbalist Barbara Neznek, this program is $30 per person, including materials and handouts.

Please contact the Shaker Heritage Society at 456-7890 x23 or ShakerEducator@gmail.com to sign up for this program. Pre-registration requested by Thursday, July 28.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Save the Date! Summer Craft Fair Weekend - July 9 & 10

Our Summer Craft Fair Weekend will be on Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10, from 10am - 4pm. Admission is $4 per person or $3 per person with a coupon that can be found on our website (shakerheritage.org). SHS Members and those under 18 admitted free.

Come explore the fantastic work of over 75 local crafters, featuring jewelry, ornaments, toys, apparel, household goods, gourmet foods, and more! All merchandise in the Shaker Gift Shop will be on sale.

This year for the first time, the Fair will feature Abenaki Nation traditional artists. Demonstrations will include: Jacques Watso, traditional Abenaki music and drumming, miniature Birchbark canoes and containers, traditional wood carving and displays of museum quality Birch Bark Baskets, woodcarvings and more. Throughout their history, the Shakers interacted with Native Americans who influenced their basket making and other craft traditions.

Free guided tours of the site are offered on both days at 11:30am and 1:30pm. There will also be FREE pony rides on Sunday ONLY from 1pm - 3pm!

Come enjoy the work of talented local artists, a piece of pie, explore the historic site, and support the Shaker Heritage Society! We make you kindly welcome!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Music in the Meeting House

Join us this Saturday, April 16 for "Music in the Meeting House" with the Friends Union Band. Enjoy an evening of Celtic, Appalachian and traditional music while supporting the Shaker Heritage Society. Tickets are $10 or $8 for SHS Members, seniors and students, payable at the door. Those under 18 are admitted for free.

For more information about the Friends Union Band, please check out their website at http://friendsunionband.com/

This is a special opportunity to experience the unique acoustics of the Shaker Meeting House.

We Make You Kindly Welcome!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome Spring!

There are a few tiny hints of Spring peaking through here at the Shaker site, reminding us of the warmth to come. The longer days and seemingly brighter sunshine are encouraging as well. For the Shakers that lived here in the nineteenth century, the end of March was spent in a variety of ways. Its seems that it was a good opportunity to finish major indoor tasks, such as carding (brushing) the wool and hetcheling (combing) the flax (linen).

28 March 1837 - The sisters in general to carding and hetcheling. We have above 300 weight to hetchel. The sisters card today 42 pounds.

30 March 1837 - We finish hetcheling and the sisters have carded 48 pounds.

The month of March was also used by the journal keeper, Phoebe Ann Buckingham, to catch up on her basket making.

28 March 1845 - I finish 4 dozen baskets for sale and 6 for home use.

Spring was also the time when the last fruits and vegetables from the autumn harvest were used up, in preparation for the fresh foods that would eventually be available in the gardens.

Phoebe Ann Buckingham playfully (and poetically) wrote of this in 1840.
31 March 1840 -
There is a little thing which I am going to tell,
Do you know what it is on which I do dwell?
It is not anything new or strange I shall say
It is - I have made the last green apple pies today.

She continued the next day with...
1 April 1840 -
And that is not all that I am going to say
But this is not on the self same day
But that's no matter, for you shall see
Tonight that spoon cakes they shall be.

If you are looking for your own signs of spring, we encourage you to head over to our friends at the Shaker Shed Farm and Market. Today is their first day of the season. They have a great cafe and bakery, home goods and many lovely flowers and plants. The business is located on land that was originally owned by the West Family Shakers. While at the cafe and farm, be sure to look up the hill to see some original Shaker buildings. (However, we ask that you respect the privacy of the landowners by remaining in the public areas around the cafe, as these structures and the land are now privately owned.)

Remember, it will be only a few weeks until the herb garden here at the Shaker Heritage Society begins to look like this... Happy Spring!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Upcoming Events at the Shaker Heritage Society

We've planned some interesting events to keep you busy while we endure the last few weeks of winter. Please join us and learn about Shaker history through these interactive workshops.

Shaker Cooking Workshops
The Shaker Heritage Society has teamed up with Diane Conroy LaCivita of the Harmony House Bakery in Cohoes to present a series of four hands-on cooking workshops. We will meet in Cohoes on Tuesday evenings in March between 6 and 8pm. These classes are a unique opportunity to learn about and experience history in a truly delicious way. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up soon!

March 1: Shaker Baking

March 8: Shaker Meats

March 15: Shaker Vegetables

March 22: Shaker Desserts

Prices for the series are:

Shaker Heritage Society Members: $40.00 Not-Yet Members: $50.00

All materials and ingredients are included in fee. Pre-Registration is required by February 25.

Please contact us at (518) 456-7890 Ext. 25 or ShakerEducator at gmail.com with questions or to register.


Shaker Chair Taping Class
Saturday, March 19

10:00 – 1:00

Learn how to weave a chair seat in the Shaker style. At the end of the workshop, you will have a comfortable chair you will be proud to have your guests sit on. Participants provide their own chair, chair tape and stuffing. One inch chair tape is available from the Shaker Heritage Society gift shop. We encourage participants to purchase their tape at least a few days before the class.

The class is limited to 8 participants. Cost is $30.00 per person, $25.00 for SHS Members. Please contact us at (518) 456-7890 Ext. 25 or ShakerEducator at gmail.com with questions or to register. Pre-registration is required by March 15.

Make a Twill Weave Market Basket
Saturday, March 26 10:00 – 3:30

This lovely basket is made of reed and an oak handle and is perfect to take to your favorite farmers’ market or to your own garden to gather vegetables. Height: 5” deep with a 12” tall handle. Base measures 8” X 12” Top measures 17” X 8.” This is a 5 hour class. Participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch. All tools and materials will be provided. Cost is $60 for SHS members and $65 for not-yet members. Please contact us at (518) 456-7890 Ext. 25 or ShakerEducator at gmail.com with questions or to register.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Leaving the Community

On this date in 1840, Shaker journal keeper Phoebe Ann Buckingham wrote:

Jesse H. comes home. Something terrible to relate. Little Tomy has sealed his fate and to the world he goes. Elder Brother and Frederick W. went to Albany with him.

This entry discusses a common part of Shaker life: watching individuals leave the community. The phrase "to the world" refers to anything outside the realm of Shaker Society. People left for a variety of reasons. Some left because they were curious about life outside the Shaker community. Others went back to their families and villages. Sometimes, individuals changed their mind about living in a very controlled, religious society. In a few documented cases, couples who had met within the community left to marry and start their own families.

There is little we can do to discover "Little Tomy's" reasons for leaving. While records are available about some of those who lived in the community for many years, the stories of those that stayed for only a few months or years are more difficult to find. Thousands of people tried the Shaker lifestyle throughout the nineteenth century and only small percentage stayed. Yet it is important to remember that they often left with Shaker knowledge, ideas and values. Some remained on good terms with their former Brethren and Sisters, occasionally visiting the communities.

Frequently, the Shakers watched people leave with great sadness. Converts were truly an investment of time, resources, money and effort. Many had been trained in trades such as furniture building or herb processing. When one decided to leave, the Shakers had to accept the loss of not only the individual, but also their talents and their potential.

Image from etc.usf.edu/clipart

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Join us at our Christmas Craft Fair

Our Christmas Craft Fair recently opened and we have an amazing array of beautiful, locally made items. While we have a number of holiday items, we also have a vast assortment of gifts for all occasions.

Locally made honey and beeswax candles...

Hand-knit wool sweaters...

Handmade jewelry...

A wide selection of handmade baskets...

Paper crane mobiles...

Handmade soaps...

... And thousands of other items, just waiting to be discovered.

Please join us.

We are open Monday - Saturday, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

We are closed on Sundays and for the Thanksgiving holiday.

October 30 - December 18

We make you kindly welcome!