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.