Shaker Heritage Society

Shaker Heritage Society The Shaker Heritage Society works to preserve the site of America's site Shaker settlement, founded in 1776. Explore our historical Meeting House and wander the grounds of the Church Family, including Ann Lee Pond, and be sure to visit our museum shop!
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Site of the first Shaker community. Nine historic buildings, herb garden, walking trails. Small museum with a great Museum Shop in a bucolic setting adjacent to Albany Airport.

Mission: The mission of the Shaker Heritage Society is to strengthen our community through educational programs and historic preservation focused on the Shaker ideals of sustainability, equality, compassion, cooperation, and the pursuit of a meaningful life.

06/11/2020
Black Kettle Soap Company

The Shakers created and sold a variety handmade products, such as chairs, dolls, and much more, in order to participate in their local economies. We hope you'll support one of our local vendors who sell their own handmade soap, by liking their page and buying some of their products!

https://www.facebook.com/blackkettlesoapcompany/

What started as a way to provide relief for our family's overly sensitive skin has turned into an amazing line of hand crafted products for the bath, body and home.

Have any questions about gardening, herbs, or our Herb Garden? Comment below and Becky, our Garden Manager, will answer ...
06/10/2020

Have any questions about gardening, herbs, or our Herb Garden? Comment below and Becky, our Garden Manager, will answer some of them on Saturday at our Shaker Summer Celebration!

Want to learn some local history without leaving your quarantine? Check out Virtual Watervliet, where you can learn abou...
06/09/2020

Want to learn some local history without leaving your quarantine? Check out Virtual Watervliet, where you can learn about the first Shaker settlement and even see Then/Now photos of our site, like this one of the Meeting House - 1871 on the left and today on the right!

https://virtual.shakerheritage.org/https://virtual.shakerheritage.org/

We're thrilled to be partnering with some fantastic local organizations for Pollinator Week this year, so expect to see ...
06/08/2020

We're thrilled to be partnering with some fantastic local organizations for Pollinator Week this year, so expect to see plenty of blooms from us! This beauty is Greek Valerian, and can be found blossoming in our Herb Garden. Tag us if you take your own pictures!

The Radix Center Ten Broeck Mansion Albany Pine Bush Preserve WildThings Rescue Nursery Albany County Soil and Water Conservation District

Our Barn sure looks gorgeous all dressed up. We look forward to the day when we can host events in there once again. If ...
06/07/2020

Our Barn sure looks gorgeous all dressed up. We look forward to the day when we can host events in there once again. If your wedding or special occasion was held in our Barn, we'd love to hear your favorite memory from the day!

The Shakers were known both for their agriculture, growing a variety of crops, and for their radical beliefs in equality...
06/06/2020

The Shakers were known both for their agriculture, growing a variety of crops, and for their radical beliefs in equality. Similarly, Soul Fire Farm in Petersburg, NY focuses on "sustainable farming and leadership training for people of color" while encouraging and supporting their local community. We hope you'll check out their work, Like their page, and support them however you can.

06/05/2020
We Shall Overcome, sung by Miriam

All of us at the Shaker Heritage Society would like to show our support for everyone fighting and suffering during these particularly trying times. We hope you will too by learning more about how you can help, standing up for those who need support, and thinking about how we can learn from the past to make a better future. Here, Miriam sings We Shall Overcome, a Civil Rights protest song with a message that continues to ring true today.

For more resources about the Black Lives Matter movement, check out African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, Inc., Black Lives Matter - NYS Capital District, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and comment below to tell us any others you support.

Lyrics: We shall overcome, We shall overcome, We shall overcome someday.
Oh deep in my heart I do believe that we shall overcome someday.
We are not afraid, we are not afraid, we are not afraid today.

Oh deep in my heart I do believe that we shall overcome someday.
We will live in peace, we will live in peace, we will live in peace someday.
Oh deep in my heart I do believe that we shall overcome someday.

Need something soothing to drink? Try some Shaker herbal teas, cultivated and made by the Shakers at Sabbathday Lake Sha...
06/04/2020

Need something soothing to drink? Try some Shaker herbal teas, cultivated and made by the Shakers at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village!

Even in the face of violent persecution for their religious and pacifist beliefs, the Shakers opened their community to ...
06/03/2020

Even in the face of violent persecution for their religious and pacifist beliefs, the Shakers opened their community to Believers, regardless of their gender, color of their skin, or background. As we absorb, reflect, and respond to attacks on peaceful protestors and the repeated murders of black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, we hope you'll immerse yourself in the history of this country, both positive and negative, and use it as a starting point to better understand what's happening today. You can start with these resources from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as the NAACP Albany NY Branch.

This picture is of Sisters Elizabeth DeLong, Josephine Hewitt, Julia McNallen, and Harriet Jones, who came to Watervliet in 1896 from the African-American Shaker community in Philadelphia.

In addition to the Church Family buildings, there are some Shaker buildings over at the West Family (behind George's Mar...
06/02/2020

In addition to the Church Family buildings, there are some Shaker buildings over at the West Family (behind George's Market on Watervliet Shaker Rd in Albany), which are now privately owned. Last June, volunteers and staff were given a tour of the Dwelling House, which retains much of its original features, and is currently an apartment complex. We hope to offer another private tour in the hopefully-not-too-distant future!

Looking for the perfect spot for a socially distant picnic? Why not visit our grounds, where we have beautiful picnic ta...
06/01/2020

Looking for the perfect spot for a socially distant picnic? Why not visit our grounds, where we have beautiful picnic tables and benches for your enjoyment! Our grounds are open every day from dawn to dusk. And if you take pictures, please tag us! #shakerheritagesociety #discoveralbany

During last fall's Shaker Your Plate fundraiser, we were serenaded by local favorites Carmen The Singer and Life's Guilt...
05/31/2020

During last fall's Shaker Your Plate fundraiser, we were serenaded by local favorites Carmen The Singer and Life's Guilty Pleasures! We look forward to the day when we can hear live music filling the rafters of the Barn once again.

Image Description: A man in a white hat plays guitar and a woman sings into a microphone in a rustic barn setting.

Looking for a perfect brunch dish? Look no further than these Shaker Cornmeal Griddle Cakes with Buttery Maple Syrup fro...
05/30/2020

Looking for a perfect brunch dish? Look no further than these Shaker Cornmeal Griddle Cakes with Buttery Maple Syrup from The Shaker Cookbook: Not By Bread Alone by Caroline Piercy. Picture from theculinarycellar.com/

Ingredients:
-1 cup stone ground cornmeal
-1 cup white flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 eggs, separated
-2 Tablespoons melted butter
-2 cups buttermilk

Buttery Maple Syrup- instructions below

Sift together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Beat the egg yolks in a mixing bowl; stir in melted butter and buttermilk. Add cornmeal mixture and mix well. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold gently and thoroughly into cornmeal mixture. Drop by 1/4-cup measures (or larger, if desired) onto very hot greased heavy griddle pan. When the tops of the pancakes are very bubbly, flip over and cook other side. Serve hot with the warm buttery maple syrup. Serves 6-8.

Buttery Maple syrup: Place 2 cups of pure maple syrup into a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 Tablespoons unsalted sweet butter; stir to melt and serve warm with hot griddle cakes.

05/29/2020
Natalie Merchant - If No One Ever Marries Me

We don't have a new video for you today, but check out Natalie Merchant singing in the Meeting House before her concert back in 2010:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GosZG882QM

If you could invite any singer to perform in our Meeting House, who would you ask?

Erik Della Penna and Gabriel Gordon rehearse "If No One Ever Marries Me" with Natalie inside the historic 1848 Shaker Meeting Hall in Albany, NY in preparati...

Have you browsed our new Online Shop?! We hope you'll consider supporting local artists and our organization at the same...
05/28/2020

Have you browsed our new Online Shop?! We hope you'll consider supporting local artists and our organization at the same time with a purchase. Handmade Shaker oval boxes make excellent gifts, for a loved one or for yourself!

https://www.facebook.com/pg/ShakerHeritageSociety/shop/

We're grateful to our volunteers for keeping our building looking beautiful - back in the fall, Dennis painted our front...
05/27/2020

We're grateful to our volunteers for keeping our building looking beautiful - back in the fall, Dennis painted our front doors and Scott repaired a patch of the wall outside of our Exhibit Room. If you're curious about volunteer opportunities, especially as institutions slowly begin to reopen, send us a message!

From the journals: May 26 1878  "Had Society meeting with ministry. Sung nearly all our songs in harmony."The "ministry"...
05/26/2020

From the journals: May 26 1878 "Had Society meeting with ministry. Sung nearly all our songs in harmony."
The "ministry" here probably refers to visiting leaders from the Mount Lebanon central leadership. These visitors to Watervliet stayed in the Ministry Shop [pictured here].

Early Shaker melodies were all sung in unison with harmonies were adopted selectively in later years. Although singing was central to worship, journal writers occasionally observe that not all Shaker singers were naturally gifted...

Image Description: Red brick two-story building surrounded by trees.

How beautiful are these chickens? They're just one highlight of a visit to the Shaker Heritage Society.
05/25/2020

How beautiful are these chickens? They're just one highlight of a visit to the Shaker Heritage Society.

Last fall, we welcomed Sunhee's Farm and Kitchen to our Barn to teach everyone who attended our annual Shaker Your Plate...
05/24/2020

Last fall, we welcomed Sunhee's Farm and Kitchen to our Barn to teach everyone who attended our annual Shaker Your Plate fundraiser how to make homemade kimchi! Kimchi and other fermented foods are fun, delicious, and relatively simple home projects, what are you cooking or baking these days?

Looking for a tasty treat to bake during social distancing? Try this Shaker Lemon Tart, inspired by the Shakers' beliefs...
05/23/2020
Shaker Lemon Tart Recipe

Looking for a tasty treat to bake during social distancing? Try this Shaker Lemon Tart, inspired by the Shakers' beliefs in simplicity and not wasting food!

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1013984-shaker-lemon-tart

This uncomplicated lemon pie is a variation of one attributed to the Shakers, a religious community best known for their simple living philosophy and exquisitely designed furniture It is said that Shaker cooks waste nothing, and if that is true, this tart is a perfect example of that ethos The entir...

05/22/2020
How Can I Keep From Singing, sung by Miriam

Volunteer Coordinator/Songstress Miriam has another song for you this week: it's neither Shaker nor Quaker, but it's often thought to be one or the other. How Can I Keep From Singing feels like a particularly appropriate hymn these days, and we hope you enjoy it.

"My life goes on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation
I hear the real though far off hymn
That hails a new creation
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest loudly roars
I hear the truth, it's living
What though the darkness round me close
Songs in the night, it's giving
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging
Since I believe that love abides
How can I keep from singing?"

Exciting news: we now have an Online Shop! We hope you'll consider supporting local artists and our organization at the ...
05/21/2020

Exciting news: we now have an Online Shop! We hope you'll consider supporting local artists and our organization at the same time with a purchase. In honor of World Bee Day yesterday, why not purchase some delicious honey? The Shakers at Watervliet once had quite the collection of beehives, so we continue this tradition by supporting local beekeepers!

https://www.facebook.com/pg/ShakerHeritageSociety/shop/

From the archives: Happy Anniversary Shaker Heritage Barn!May 20, 1915: Barn raising at CF [Church Family]. Freida [Sipp...
05/20/2020

From the archives: Happy Anniversary Shaker Heritage Barn!
May 20, 1915: Barn raising at CF [Church Family]. Freida [Sipple] and Grace [Dahm] went up to help in the dining rooms, Grace at the Office and Freida at the Dwelling House. They fed 23 men for dinner at Office and 49 at Dwelling. Elder Josiah treated the men to cigars, 3 & 4 each. SF [South Family] provided asparagus and butter. In afternoon, all of SF except Deborah and Anna G. went to watch. Charles Deiner was boss of carpentry work, and Ed Ireland and his son John, the cement and foundation work. Everything went very smoothly.

From the journals: May 19 1835  "I went to the river with Stephen and Oliver to help raise the house for the miller." Je...
05/19/2020

From the journals: May 19 1835 "I went to the river with Stephen and Oliver to help raise the house for the miller."

Jessie Wells recorded this passage. He is believed to be the primary architect of the 1848 Meeting House and as Elder was the keeper of the West Family Journals for many years. In addition to these jobs, he was also a prolific turner of broom handles. One week in 1832 he recorded turning 4500 wooden handles.He lived to the ripe old age of 98 and is buried in the Shaker Cemetery.

Our Museum and Shop are sadly closed for now, but our grounds are perfect for wandering! Say hello to our animals (just ...
05/18/2020

Our Museum and Shop are sadly closed for now, but our grounds are perfect for wandering! Say hello to our animals (just like Lola the bouvier is doing here), explore Ann Lee Pond, and learn about the historic buildings on site. Come by any day of the week from dawn until dusk!

If you take any pictures, please share them and tag us! #shakerheritagesociety #discoveralbany

Earlier this spring, we had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious collaboration with Nine Pin Cider - a Shaker Heritage C...
05/17/2020

Earlier this spring, we had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious collaboration with Nine Pin Cider - a Shaker Heritage Cider made from the apples in our Shaker Orchard! We'd love a fresh pint right about now. What are you drinking during these strange times?

Spring has arrived in the Shaker Apple Orchard! Don't miss it! #518tuliptracker #518pollinator #discoveralbany
05/16/2020

Spring has arrived in the Shaker Apple Orchard! Don't miss it!
#518tuliptracker #518pollinator #discoveralbany

05/15/2020
Little Children, sung by Miriam

Miriam is back in the Meeting House to sing another Shaker tune for you! This song is called Little Children, and the lyrics feel particularly relevant to our current crisis. Thanks for listening!

“Little children say Holy Mother soothe and comfort one another.

Lo lodle lodle lodle lodle lodle lodle lodle lodle lo

Draw the chords of union stronger, wind and bind them around each other. Make them feel your love and blessing.”

#tbt to our 2019 Holiday Market, when our Meeting House was full to the brim with local vendors' handmade crafts, treats...
05/14/2020

#tbt to our 2019 Holiday Market, when our Meeting House was full to the brim with local vendors' handmade crafts, treats, and much more. What is your favorite item you've purchased at one of our Markets or Craft Fairs?

Last November, we joined staff and volunteers from Hancock Shaker Village​ to visit the Shaker collection at the New Yor...
05/13/2020

Last November, we joined staff and volunteers from Hancock Shaker Village​ to visit the Shaker collection at the New York State Museum​ with us. We saw original Shaker chairs, baskets, clothing, and more. What other places should we visit once it's safe to do so?

From the journals: May 12 1835 "Bury the bones and move Mother Lucy a little." A day earlier, the Shakers had disinterre...
05/12/2020

From the journals: May 12 1835 "Bury the bones and move Mother Lucy a little."
A day earlier, the Shakers had disinterred Mother Ann and her brother William to move their remains to the newly consecrated cemetery. It is said that their bones bore the signs of trauma from their beatings and injuries in life.

We're missing our human visitors these days, but this flock of geese seemed to enjoy the grounds on a dreary day!
05/11/2020

We're missing our human visitors these days, but this flock of geese seemed to enjoy the grounds on a dreary day!

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there - whether they be biological, chosen, honorary, etc. We're thankful for l...
05/10/2020

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there - whether they be biological, chosen, honorary, etc. We're thankful for leaders like Mother Ann Lee, the founder of the Shakers, and Mother Lucy Wright, Mother Ann's successor, both buried at the Shaker Cemetery down the road from our site in Albany.

05/08/2020
Sanctuary, sung by Miriam

Volunteer Coordinator Miriam is back with another song for you! This time, it’s a Shaker melody with lyrics from the Hebrew Bible. The text below is in English, followed by the Hebrew transliteration. We hope you enjoy!

Lord, prepare me to be a Sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for You!

V’asu li mikdash
V’shachanti b’tocham
Va-anachnu n’varech Yah
Me-ata v’ad olam!

05/07/2020
Appalachian Spring - Musicians of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Many people today are sharing and making music together as a way to combat isolation and loneliness during the pandemic. Here, members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra perform Appalacian Spring, a song inspired by Shaker song, "Simple Gifts".
Among Shakers, inspiration to create a song was valued as a spiritual "gift". While it was important to record these "gifts" as they were received, some had no words; a musical equivalent to "speaking in tongues".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rzZ2F18MwI&feature=youtu.be

Sending love to everyone in Toronto and across the world. No matter what distance keeps us apart, we’ll still find ways to make music together and celebrate ...

Address

25 Meeting House Rd
Albany, NY
12211

Adjacent to Albany International Airport, CDTA

General information

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-4pm. Guests are also welcome to walk the grounds from dawn to dusk everyday. Leashed dogs are welcome but please clean up after them.

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Historic site of the first Shaker community. Nine Shaker buildings, herb garden, walking trails, Shaker cemetery. Small museum with a great gift shop, mobile and self guided tour in a bucolic setting adjacent to Albany Airport. Check our website for information about programs and events.

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Comments

Happy birthday Mother Ann!
Wow, Just discovered all the videos. I'll never have a dull evening at home again!
🎶❤️🎶
Had a great time visiting yesterday... 25 years in Albany and first time there. ❤️
Please join Classic Threads at the Shaker Heritage Society Fall Craft Fair this Saturday & Sunday. Celebrate the season with many talented artisans and see their wares. Here are just a few creations I'll have for sale there.
I checked the whole blurpy to make sure there’s no admission fee. There was nothing of the sort so I went out of my way and there’s this sign for charges. Am I missing something? There must be a lot of people who never attended this event before and may have been caught off guard by this incomplete information. I witnessed a group of women who showed some degree of sticker shock.
I wanted to let you know that I just tried to access the proxy link for the annual meeting, but it won't take the password given in the paperwork. Others may be having the same result.
Do you know when the woodworkers auction is this year?
“Simple Gifts” to be played on WMHT in this hours segment 5pm 9/29
A big thanks to Jackie Davis for a very successful craft fair this weekend. You did an awesome job!!!
We’re delighted to inform you that Shaker Heritage Society has been selected as one of the best Wedding Locations in New York by Best of AmericanTowns, a property of AmericanTowns Media! Here is the link to the page: For over 15 years, AmericanTowns Media has been the leader in highlighting the incredible work of great local organizations and initiatives. Best of AmericanTowns brings the most interesting and unique places in America right to the fingertips of the user with the opportunity to browse the best places to eat, live, and visit. We are happy to spotlight the excellence you’ve achieved in your work and hope you’ll share this with your followers on Facebook and tag us @bestofamericantowns!
The Winter Shaker, historical fiction novel, has the setting of Upstate New York, 1887-1888. Available at amazon.com, under books, Paul Bland. Or at barnesandnoble.com.