Shakers are known for their mode of simple living and their iconic architecture and furniture. Did you know the single, largest Shaker community in the US was once very close by: the Mount Lebanon Shaker Village.
The Mount Lebanon Shaker Village was founded in 1787 and remained the single largest communal society in America for 160 years, with over 6,000 acres and 100 buildings. It was here that the now famous Shaker ideals of gender, labor, and race equality, communal property, pacifism, and the Shaker aesthetic were fully developed.
As the Shaker community in Mount Lebanon declined in population, largely due to its policy of celibacy, portions of their property holdings were gradually sold off. The section of the Mount Lebanon Shaker Village known as the North Family was purchased by the Shaker Museum and Library in 2004.
The Mount Lebanon Shaker Village Museum and Library has a broad collection of Shaker artifacts that represent over 200 years of Shaker history. More than 80 percent of the Museum’s collection came directly from Shaker communities and represent virtually every facet of Shaker life.
The collection at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village includes beautiful examples of Shaker machinery, household furnishings, textiles, baskets, boxes and woodenware, stoves, woodworking tools, clocks, architecture, agricultural and medical equipment, and more. The Shaker Library at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village contains an uncommon wealth of books and manuscripts documenting the lives of Shakers.
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village consists of 10 buildings on 30 acres, including the remains of the iconic Great Stone Barn. 50 feet wide, four stories high, and nearly 200 feet long, this incredible stone structure was totally gutted by fire in the 70’s, leaving only the masonry walls standing, yet it remains a testament to the ingenuity of this unique community.
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
202 Shaker Road, New Lebanon, NY
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village is open for tours June through October each year. For more information, please visit: www.shakermuseumandlibrary.org
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village Lodging
Applegate Inn is but a half-hour’s drive from Mount Lebanon Shaker Village. Our convenient location puts our guests this close or closer to the best attractions in our part of the world. Let us be your home away from home during your Berkshires vacation so that you, too can enjoy this convenience, not to mention our service, amenities, and attention to detail. After all, you deserve the best, so why settle for less?