Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shaker Poetry for the New Year

When one thinks of the Shakers, poetry rarely comes to mind. Yet some Shakers did write rhymed verses in the journals they kept for the communities. One of the most prolific was Phoebe Ann Buckingham of the Church Family of the Watervliet Shaker Community.
The journals offer a glimpse into the everyday lives of the Shakers and Sister Ann (she most often went by her middle name), included many wonderful details.

Some of her rhymes were positive and hopeful, even humorous in nature.

January 1, 1867
The New Year comes with quickened pace
and greets us with a smiling face
O may he keep the same in view
As he onward moves his journey through

Showing that we have more in common with our predecessors than we realize, she occasionally bemoans the fact that she is not ready for the New Year.

1 January, 1857
The New Year has commenced without waiting to see if we were prepared.

On other occasions, she reflects on the more negative aspects of the passage of time.

1 January 1856
Behold the New Year now has come
O may it prove a prosperous one.
May everyone that now is here
Remain to greet another year.
How many changes time does bring
Some painful and some happy things.
Within the year that now is past
Many to us have breathed their last.
Some to a happier land have fled,
Others in thorns have made their bed.
Left home and friends and all for what--
The lowest pleasures the earth has got.

It is interesting that in the above passage she mentions the two ways that the Shakers lost followers. Naturally, some were lost through physical death, as suggested in "Many to us have breathed their last, some to a happier land have fled." However, many "absconded," or left the Shaker faith. The last three lines discuss this kind of loss.

Showing dedication to her faith, Sister Ann seems to make a New Year's resolution in this passage from 1837.

1 January 1837
I am determined to be more faithful
In this year which is now begun.
That I may gain a heavenly treasure
Which will fit me for the world to come.

Ann Buckingham continued to live in the Watervliet Shaker community for the rest of her life and was laid to rest in the Shaker Cemetery. She died at the age of 88 in December of 1892, just four days short of the New Year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last Chance for the Christmas Craft Fair

Our Christmas Craft Fair is quickly drawing to a close. The past couple months at SHS have been filled with creativity, fun and camaraderie. If you haven't yet checked out the many items available, this is a perfect time to visit. While the crafters have been successful and sold many items, many have dutifully refilled their booths when necessary with new and wonderful things.
We will be open from 10 - 4, through Saturday, December 19.
If you are still trying to figure out what to get for someone, let us offer a few ideas. All items were made by artisans represented at our Craft Fair.

For the Manly Man...
  • Bank Made of an Original Post Office Box
  • Carved Wooden Bowl
  • Golf Ball Wine Stopper
  • Flattened Beer Bottle Cheese Board
  • "Harley Fund" Ceramic Bank
  • "At the Cabin" Key Holder

For the Fashionable Lady...

  • Beaded Purple Purse
  • Lavender Sprigs
  • Knitted Scarf
  • Beaded Necklace
  • Hand Painted Votive Holder
  • Lilac Room Spray and Lotion
  • Grapefruit Candle
  • Tapestry Covered Photo Album

For a hostess...

  • Ceramic Chip and Dip Bowl
  • Hand Painted Glasses
  • Pumpkin Spice Dip Mix

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Adirondack Trails with Tales Book Signing


Do you enjoy exploring the outdoors? Discover the wonderful hiking opportunities in our region! Authors Russell Dunn and Barbara Delaney will be at the Shaker Heritage Society on December 12 from 1:00 - 3:00, signing their newest book Adirondack Trails with Tales. This fascinating book details the stories behind both popular and relatively unknown hiking destinations throughout New York's Adirondack region. Dunn and Delaney have published a number of other books on outdoor topics that will also be available for purchase on December 12. These books offer an excellent balance between practical information about hiking the trails and the fascinating stories about their past.




Gift Idea: Get a signed copy of Adirondack Trails with Tales and combine it in a backpack or basket with a reusable water bottle, some granolla bars, and a small first aid kit. Voila! An instant hiking kit for your favorite outdoor enthusiast.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Christmas Craft Fair is Now Open!

Today marked the first day of our annual Christmas Craft Fair. Didn't make it over here today? Don't despair! We will be open Monday - Saturday, from 10 am - 4 pm through December 19. We will be closed on Sundays and on Thanksgiving Day. There is no admission fee to enter the fair, located in the 1848 Shaker Meeting House.

Our Craft Fairs are an opportunity for visitors to discover the unique and beautiful items made by local artisans. Each purchase supports the Shaker Heritage Society as well as the artists and crafters represented in the fair.

We are located on Heritage Lane. For directions, please see this post about how to find us. (Please note: If you are using a GPS device or an online mapping service, please be advised that 875 Watervliet Shaker Road is our mailing address, not our physical location.)
The following photos showcase just a fraction of the items available at our Craft Fair.




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shakers, Spiritualism and Séances: Part II

Spiritualism was of great interest to the Shakers and many went to presentations about the topic. For those unfamiliar with Spiritualism, it is the belief that the living can communicate with those who have passed on, often using psychically sensitive individuals called mediums.*

In the mid nineteenth century, two Shaker brothers went to observe the Fox Sisters in action. We believe that “Elder Richard” is a reference to Richard Bushnell and the “Brother Frederic” is Frederick Evans, both of the Mount Lebanon Shaker Community. A letter from 1850 offers a very detailed description of their experience.

July 1850
Elder Richard and Brother Frederic attend meeting with us this evening and relate the singular manifestations which they witnessed both in New York and at Stratsburg, Connecticut. While in New York they went to see the family of Fox girls for the purpose of witnessing the “mysterious rappings” as they are universally called. They witnessed the questions that were asked by others and heard the answers that were given. Those that asked the questions were well satisfied that there was something supernatural about it, as the questions which were asked and answered related to matters which were known to none but those that asked the questions themselves. Elder Richard asked questions something after this manner:
Question: Are disembodied spirits capable of corresponding with spirits that are embodied?
Answer: In the affirmative by rapping.
Question: Are any of my relatives present?
Answer: Yes
Question: Who is it?
Answer: Your mother.
Question: What is her name?

These questions were multiplied to quite an extent, entering into the particulars as to where she lived before her departure from this world, the name of the town she lived in etc, etc., all of which were correctly answered. Elder Richard said that they were not obliged to spell the word out by the alphabet but could receive answers equally as well by [writing] the question upon a slate or paper and [answering] the question thus. If my mother is present, what is her name? He remarked that previous to his asking this question he had written down names indiscriminately, some of which were his relatives and some were not. He then took his pencil and began to trace the column downwards and the moment he touched his mother’s name there was a rap. In this manner he received the answers in relation to the name of the town in which she lived etc, etc.

This is truly a singular manifestation; it appeared from the intelligence displayed that something more than blind chance governs it; the hand of the source of intelligence undoubtedly is in it and that it may effectively open the eyes of mankind and convince them of the fact so thoroughly understood by believers- the close proximity of departed spirits- their attendance as guardians, etc is much to be desired. And that it may finally terminate in causing all to be troubled for their sins and bring many into a closer relation to God is my prayer.


This conclusion of this passage is truly fascinating as it details why many of the Shakers were open to psychics and séances. They were not defying their religion or beliefs; rather, they felt they were utilizing Spiritualism to further promote it.

* For more information on the Fox Sisters and Spiritualism, please see Nancy Rubin Stuart’s fascinating book The Reluctant Spiritualist: The Life of Maggie Fox. An article the Fox Sisters from American History Magazine is available at: http://www.historynet.com/the-fox-sisters-spiritualisms-unlikely-founders.htm

Friday, October 23, 2009

Shakers, Spiritualism and Séances: Part I

Most modern people are surprised to hear that throughout their history, many Shakers thought it possible to communicate with the Spirit World. In their extensive journals, the Shakers frequently mention going to Spiritualist meetings and hosting mediums. Throughout the next few blog posts, we hope to explore these interesting topics.

In the 1850s, a little person who claimed to possess psychic powers visited the Watervliet Shakers at least twice. The Shaker journal keeper unfortunately does not go into detail or name this woman.

“8 March 1856- The little dwarf medium and another young woman here from Waterford.”

“8 January 1858- The dwarf medium and two other women here from Waterford.”

“16 January 1858- Dwarf medium and friends taken to the depot.”

It is interesting to note that in 1858, the medium seemed to stay for eight days. The Shakers often tried to limit the length of stay for most guests from the general public, yet this implies that the Shakers were close friends with or were receiving a service from this woman.

If any of our readers have found other references to the "Little Dwarf Medium," please contact us as we would love the opportunity to do more research on this topic.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

After the Concert

We are still recovering from some very exciting recent events at the Shaker Heritage Society. In the next week, we will be posting some personal stories from the staff and volunteers about our experiences and most memorable moments during the concert. We received some great coverage in the press and wanted to share the links.

Times Union
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=846845


CRUMBS.net (Capital Region Unofficial Musicians and Bands Site)
http://blog.timesunion.com/localmusic/picture-this-natalie-merchant/1929/


The Schenectady Gazette
http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2009/sep/27/0927_merchant/



Saturday, September 19, 2009

How to get to the 1848 Meeting House


video


We decided to film a video showing guests how to get from I-87 to the Shaker Heritage Society. Starting in the northbound lane of I-87, between exits two and four (fun fact: there is no exit 3), we began filming, to show visitors some of the intersections and landmarks to watch for. It is a long video (of course we managed to catch almost every red light), so it may take some time to download on some computers and connections.


We have found that different GPS systems and mapping devices offer different directions. Please be cautious using these, as they may take you to an incorrect location. You may want to print the following directions, in case there is any confusion.


From the northbound lane of I-87:


-Take Exit Four. Once on the ramp, try to be in the left lane.


-Turn left. (If you are early and want to explore food options on Wolf Road, turn right.)


-At the next intersection, which is only a couple hundred feet away, turn left. You will travel under the I-87 bridges.


-At the next intersection, keep going straight.


-At the next intersection (where one would normally bear right to go to the airport), keep going straight.


-At the intersection with Heritage Lane, turn left. You will see the Albany County Nursing home on your right and then the large Shaker barn on your left.


- Turn left after the just after the Shaker Barn.


- The Shaker Meeting House is the second building on the right.


- Parking is available on either side of the building (Handicapped accessible parking is on the far side of the building next to the ramp. A doorbell is located next to the ramp door, please ring this if you need assistance.)


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Few Spaces Left for Paranormal Workshop

This hands-on workshop will discuss the techniques that Ann DeMarco, a local paranormal investigator, uses in her investigations. The basics of near infrared photography and the physics of a haunting will also be explored. You will also learn some of the basic analysis techniques and be provided with tips and suggestions on improving your ability to capture the most sought after evidence in paranormal research, the apparition.

This type of activity is in keeping with Shaker traditions since the Shakers believed that they could communicate with the spirit world. They even held séances in hopes of receiving spirit communications. Look for a future blog post with more information about this fascinating and mysterious aspect of Shaker life.
This program will involve three Saturday sessions.
Saturday, September 19: 2 - 4pm
Saturday, September 26: 6 - 8pm
Saturday, October 3: 2 - 4pm
Cost per person is $45.00 for the series. Registration and payment to SHS is required by September 17th. Please call (518) 456-7890 for more information or to register.

Both Concerts Sold Out

Please be advised that both Natalie Merchant concerts (Sunday, September 27) are now sold out. Thank you so much for your interest!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fall Harvest Craft Fair

Saturday, September 12
&
Sunday, September 13
10am – 4 pm

Enjoy the outdoors as you explore booths representing over 75 different crafters at our Fall Harvest Craft Fair. Get an early start on your holiday shopping as you discover jewelry, jams, quilts, apparel, pottery, soaps and decorative items for your home. A Family Activity Station will feature activities for all ages throughout the weekend and pony rides will be available on Saturday from 1pm to 3pm. Site tours are scheduled on both days at 11:30m, 12:30 and 1:30.

Admission: $4 per person or $3 with this ad.

Under 18 admitted free.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Concert Tickets Going Quickly

We wanted to post a quick update about the concert ticket sales. We still have a few tickets left for the 5PM show on Sunday September 27, 2009. However, we are fully sold out of the $50 General Admission tickets. We still have some at the $75 level and the $150 level.
Please call (518) 456-7890 if you have any questions or to purchase tickets.

Forensic Photography and Paranormal Research Workshop

This hands-on workshop will discuss the techniques that Ann DeMarco, a local paranormal investigator, uses in her investigations. The basics of near infrared photography and the physics of a haunting will also be explored. You will also learn some of the basic analysis techniques and be provided with tips and suggestions on improving your ability to capture the most sought after evidence in paranormal research, the apparition.

This type of activity is in keeping with Shaker traditions since the Shakers believed that they could communicate with the spirit world. They even held séances in hopes of receiving spirit communications. Look for a future blog post with more information about this fascinating and mysterious aspect of Shaker life.

This program will involve three Saturday sessions.

Saturday, September 19: 2 - 4pm

Saturday, September 26: 6 - 8pm

Saturday, October 3: 2 - 4pm

Cost per person is $45.00 for the series. Registration and payment to SHS is required by September 14th. Please call (518) 456-7890 for more information or to register.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Concert Seating Chart

We have heard that many of you would like to see how the room will be set up for the Natalie Merchant Concert on Sunday, September 27. The image posted above illustrates the different seating sections and the locations of the gift shop and exhibit room. Please note that the only two ways into the actual concert space on the day of the performance will be through the back door (at the top of the image, marked "entrance") and through the east side door where the handicapped entrance is located. Only those needing to use the ramp will be admitted through this door.
The colors of the chart correspond with the colors of the tickets.
Yellow: The first three rows (A - C) at $150 per ticket.
Blue: The fourth through tenth rows (D - J) at $75 per ticket.
Green: The "Rising Seats" benches (General Admission) at $50 per ticket.
Purple: The performance space.
The space is approximately 80' by 50' feet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Concert Questions

We have received a number of questions about the concert and we wanted to take this opportunity to answer them. If you think of others, please pose them in the comments section. We are currently unable to publish the comments we have received (due to a computer or program issue), but we wanted to make sure we addressed all of the questions that have been raised.

1) Have you sold all of the tickets?
While we have fully sold out of tickets for the first (1:30 PM) show, we do still have a few tickets for the second (5 PM) show available at all pricing levels- $50, $75, $150. (As of 8/28/09.)
As of 9/1/09, we have sold out of the $50 General Admission Tickets for the 5PM show but still have $75 and $150 tickets left.

2) I tried calling for a really long time on Saturday (or Tuesday) and couldn't get through- Why?
We apologize for this inconvenience. We were taking as many calls as we could. The SHS office only has two phone lines and we had two people taking calls on them all day. We also had volunteers downstairs in our gift shop selling tickets all day. As a small historic site, we are very new to the concert business and are learning as we go. Please be patient with us!

Also, if you gave up on Saturday or Tuesday, please do stop by or try giving us a call back. It is much calmer here now and we do still have seats left. (We are open Tuesday - Saturday, 9:30AM - 4:00PM.)

3) Aren't you concerned about using the Meeting House for a fundraiser?
Our first priority is to protect and maintain these very historically significant Shaker buildings and educate the public about their importance. When Natalie Merchant offered to do a concert for us, we saw this as an opportunity to bring in funds that would help us meet these goals and raise public awareness of this site. Already, many people who had never visited the Shaker Heritage Society have stopped by to pick up their tickets and tour the site. This event will also encourage people to see this site not only as a museum, but also as a dynamic community resource, offering a variety of opportunities to learn about and enjoy this unique setting.

In addition, many active churches regularly hold fundraisers in their places of worship. Church Dinners, Craft Fairs and Bingo are all popular options for church fundraising. We believe that this concert, which will include Shaker spiritual music, is a fitting and respectful event for this building.

4) Why are you having this concert on a Sunday?
We only had a very limited number of dates to choose from for this concert and all the other dates were already booked. While we would have preferred to not have this concert on a Sunday, that was not possible without foregoing this amazing opportunity.

5) Why are the tickets so expensive? Or Why are the tickets so inexpensive?
Interestingly enough we have been asked both of these questions. From this experience we have learned that is impossible to please everyone. While we realize that these prices may be too much to spend for some, it is a fundraiser and we do have a responsibility to serve the best interests of this site. As for those who expected us to charge double or triple (or more) our current ticket prices, we wanted to make this concert as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. The fact that we have already sold out one concert and are over half way through the tickets for the second indicates that many people felt that the pricing was fair.

In addition, the venue is relatively small- we are only selling approximately 310 tickets for each performance. Therefore, everyone in attendance has the opportunity to be relatively close to the performance area, unlike in most larger concert halls or arenas. The concert committee spent a great deal of time discussing the pricing structure and, for the most part, response from the community has been favorable.

6) Can the concert be recorded?
No. We are not able to record these performances.


7) What has the process of organizing a concert been like?
While some elements of this have been somewhat overwhelming (designing, printing, cutting and organizing tickets, selling approximately 125 tickets in the first hour, and staring at detailed seating charts), we have been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support. Some of the nicest people have contacted us for information and to buy tickets. Individuals from California, Ontario, Florida, Arizona and Indiana are flying in for this event. Wonderful people who live just down the road have stopped by in the gift shop and chatted with our volunteers. It has been truly heartwarming to see how many people care about the history and the future of this site.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another Concert Added!

Due to the overwhelming response we have received in response to the Natalie Merchant concert, another show has been added later in the afternoon of Sunday, September 27th!

The second show will begin at 5 PM on Sunday, September 27. Both shows will follow the same format, with the band Shelving Rock opening, followed by Natalie Merchant's performance.

Ticket prices are the same, please see the preceeding blog post for explainations of the pricing structure.

Ticket sales for the 5 PM show will begin Tuesday, August 25 and tickets will be available during our regular business hours until all seats are gone.

We are open Tuesday - Saturday, 9:30 - 4:00 PM.

You are welcome to visit us and purchase your tickets in the gift shop, or if you prefer, we will accept phone orders between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. If you are calling, please be aware that there is a $5.00 phone order processing charge. Please be patient, as we have a limited number of phone lines. If you reach voice mail, leave your name, phone number and the number and type of seats you are interested in. DO NOT leave payment information on voice mail.

All proceeds will benefit the Shaker Heritage Society's educational programming and historic preservation efforts.

Thank you for supporting the Shaker Heritage Society!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Natalie Merchant Concert Update

For the past few weeks, we have been working on finalizing various details of the concert.

Tickets will go on sale on August 22, 2009, beginning at 9:30AM. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Shaker Heritage Society or over the phone.


If you plan to come to SHS to purchase tickets in person, we ask that you do not arrive before 9:00 AM. We will open our doors at 9:30 AM.

If you are purchasing your tickets in person, beware that our mailing address does not match our physical address. For GPS devices and online mapping sites, our location is Heritage Lane, Albany NY 12205. We are on the grounds of the former Ann Lee Nursing Home. The Shaker Meeting House is the large white sided building. Please use the North entrance (the center door of the three doors).

If you are calling to purchase tickets over the phone on the morning of August 22, please be patient and call back if the line is busy. We can be reached at (518) 456-7890.

Tickets prices are as follows:
$50.00 – Seating in the Rising Seats (General Admission)
$75.00 – Floor Seating, rows 4-10 (Reserved Seating)
$150.00 – Front Section, rows 1-3 (Reserved Seating)
Phone orders will incur a $5.00 service charge.


As an additional fundraiser for the Society, we will be offering a special tour of the site with Natalie Merchant and SHS Staff prior to the concert. Hear Natalie explain her own personal connection with this unique historic site. Only 25 spaces are available for this amazing opportunity. Tickets for the tour are $200 per person. (Tour ticket price does not include concert admission.)

The concert will begin at 1:30pm with an opening set by Shelving Rock. Please visit www.shelvingrock.us for more information about these talented musicians.

If you will be visiting the area and would like information about where to stay, dine, or visit, please explore the Albany County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau website:
www.Albany.org.



Friday, August 7, 2009

Save the Date!


Natalie Merchant to Perform Live at the 1848 Shaker Meeting House

September 27, 2009
1:30 PM

Taking advantage of the unique acoustics of the historic 1848 Shaker Meeting House, Natalie Merchant will sing both new and familiar tunes. All proceeds from the concert will benefit the education and historic preservation activities of the Shaker Heritage Society. Natalie Merchant first visited the Watervliet Shaker historic site in 1999: "I've long had a strong interest in experimental communal societies in America , the Shakers being the most fascinating to me. Knowing that Mother Ann Lee's first settlement was in Colonie, I visited the historic site. I sang in the Meeting House and was astounded by the acoustics. Since then it has been a dream of mine to perform a concert in the sacred space. I discovered that the Shaker Heritage Society was in need of funds for renovation and events that raise the profile of the historic site and their work to preserve it. September 27th will be an opportunity for us to achieve all our ends."

The 1848 Meeting House was constructed for public performances of Shaker worship which included singing and dancing. This architectural and historical gem retains most of its original interior features including built in bleacher style seating for "spectators" who observed the worship service. The worship services were one way that the celibate religious community obtained new converts. Shakers wrote thousands of spiritual songs, leaving a significant legacy that influenced many artists including Aaron Copeland and John Williams who wrote the Shaker inspired Air and Simple Gifts for President Obama's inaguration ceremony.

Over her 28 year career Natalie Merchant has earned a place among America ’s most respected recording artists with a reputation for being a songwriter of quality and a captivating performer. She began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released two platinum and four gold records with the group between 1981 and 1993 (The Wishing Chair, In My Tribe, Blind Man's Zoo, Hope Chest, Our Time in Eden & MTV Unplugged). In 1994 Merchant began her solo career with a self-produced debut album, Tigerlily (1995). In the years following, she released Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999) and Motherland (2001). In 2003 after 18 years she left Elektra Records and independently released an album of traditional and contemporary folk music, The House Carpenter’s Daughter on her own label, Myth America Records. In 2005 she was persuaded to curate a collection of her own work for a double album she titled Retrospective and another for her former band, Campfire Songs.

In 2007 Merchant was appointed by the governor of New York to serve a five-year term as a member of the prestigious New York State Council on the Arts. For the past five years Merchant has been researching, writing and recording a collection of songs adapted from the works of various classic and contemporary poets. She is currently in the studio preparing this project, her first studio album in eight years due for release in the Fall of 2009.

Tickets go on sale on August 22 and can be purchased in person at the Shaker Heritage Society Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30am-4pm or by telephone at 518-456-7890. The Shaker Heritage Society and 1848 Meeting House is located directly across the street from the main entrance to Albany International Airport off of Heritage Lane. For more information call 518-456-7890 or visit
http://www.shakerheritage.org/.

Watch for future posts with more information about this wonderful event.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Twelve Free or Inexpensive Things to Do at the Shaker Heritage Society


Bring your lunch (or pick up a sandwich at the Shaker Shed Cafe nearby) and sit on the bench in the Herb Garden while you eat and read about how the Shakers used the plants they grew.

Go on a nature walk around Ann Lee Pond or jog around the site.

Shop for birthday or holiday gifts in the Shaker Gift Shop or at one of our Craft Fairs.

Bring a sketchbook or camera and capture the landscape and historic architecture.

Pick up a self guided tour brochure and imagine what it would have been like to visit here in 1848.

Bring binoculars and watch the mockingbirds, deer, rabbits, kestrels and other wildlife.

See if you can get the turkeys to gobble or the rooster to crow.

Bring a couple friends and play Frisbee on the lawns.

Say hello to William the Museum Cat.

Try weaving fabric on a loom.

Visit the oxen, Freight and Liner, and Kerry the steer.

Bring a book and a blanket and relax under a tree
as you catch up on your reading.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What is the Shaker Heritage Society?


Shaker Heritage Society is an education and historic preservation organization incorporated by the New York State Department of Education. The Society’s mission is to the preserve the Watervliet Shaker National Historic District, site of America’s first Shaker settlement, and to provide educational programming to encourage interest in Shaker history and its influence on American culture.

The Watervliet site is significant for numerous reasons. The garden seed industry, flat broom and vacuum sealed tin cans were innovations that have been attributed to the Watervliet Shakers. Shakers developed innovative planned communities that emphasized gender and racial equality. Watervliet served as a model for many 19th century religious and social experiments. Historical incidents at Watervliet led to many changes in New York State laws governing divorce, child custody and property ownership and recent research has proven that the community was engaged in sheltering fugitive slaves.

Shaker Heritage Society offers a wide variety of educational programs including the award winning Learning Fair for fourth grade students, which meets numerous New York State Learning Standards and emphasizes Shaker traditions of respect, responsibility, tolerance and cooperation. The Society also offers a variety of outreach programs lectures, craft workshops, and guided tours that can be modified to meet the needs and interests of diverse audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The Society’s annual craft fairs in July, September and Christmas have become a community tradition that supports local craft artisans while also providing opportunities to learn more about Shaker history and the Watervliet site.

Friday, July 3, 2009




Shaker Summer Craft Fair
July 11 & 12 10:00 - 4:00

Please join us on July 11 & 12 for our annual Shaker Summer Craft Fair. The Shaker Heritage Society will host over 80 local artisans displaying their quality wares. Demonstrations of Shaker chair seat weaving, broom making, blacksmithing and glass bead making will be offered throughout the weekend. Live music by local musicians will provide a perfect soundtrack to your weekend. Items are available at all price points and there is truly something for everyone. Just a few of the items represented include jewelry, woodworking, quilts, purses, paintings, baskets, pottery, apparel, needlework, herbal items, photography, candles, soaps, jam and candy. We will also be having a sale in our Gift Shop in the Meeting House.

Hands-on activities will be offered for kids at the Family Activity Station and Pony Rides will be available on Saturday from 1 - 3pm.

Don't miss this opportunity for a perfect weekend outing- by yourself, with your friends or your family.

Admission is $4.00 per person (Only $3.00 if you print this blog post!) and FREE for SHS members and those under 18.


We are located near Albany International Airport on the grounds of the former Ann Lee Nursing Home on Heritage Lane.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome!



Welcome to the Shaker Heritage Society Blog! We will use this site to keep our readers up to date about current events here at the site. Various staff members and volunteers of the Shaker Heritage Society will be contributing to this blog, so you will have the opportunity to learn about the site from many different perspectives. Information will be posted about upcoming events, new findings about Shaker history and the latest news on the Master Plan. Please feel free to contact us through the comments section with any suggestions or questions.
-Anne Clothier
Education Coordinator

Shaker Heritage Society