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Hancock Shaker Village

738 Reviews
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Hancock Shaker Village

738 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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Mary S wrote a review Yesterday
Elkton, Maryland182 contributions37 helpful votes
Although I’ve always admired Shaker style furniture I knew nothing about the Shaker community. This historic village has beautiful buildings with some working artisans in the furniture and blacksmith shop. It is a great opportunity to learn about the Shaker religious order. We were able to listen to a guide present a very informative overview.
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Date of experience: October 2020
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David C wrote a review Sep 2020
Coventry, Rhode Island2,465 contributions186 helpful votes
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We quickly found out how little we knew about the Shakers. They were an interesting and different bunch to say the least. It was interesting to learn their story. The grounds are beautiful and the farm is still in full swing with plants and animals (just run by volunteers and not actual shakers). You can see how they lived and what types of things they made by hand. The talks are informative and the demonstrations are neat to watch (black smith and the woodworker). Some things are closed due to covid but a lot was still open. Kids are free. My wife and I was $36.00. We spent about 3 hours here. Go on the weekends for goat yoga!
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Date of experience: September 2020
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Response from Navigate29727172014, Public Relations Manager at Hancock Shaker Village
Responded Sep 21, 2020
Thank you so much for the lovely review!
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Sharon I wrote a review Aug 2020
Great Barrington, Massachusetts36 contributions40 helpful votes
We have come here once every few years for 25 years. We love the round barn, the simple architecture of the buildings, the perfectly utilitarian but beautiful furniture, the colors, and the animals. Great for families with young kids because they can run around the fields, explore inside the buildings, and see the animals. The talks they give on the history of the Shakers are very interesting and straightforward. Lots of different trade, machine, and craft demonstrations are offered too. Has a cafe and, of course, a shop.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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Response from Navigate29727172014, Public Relations Manager at Hancock Shaker Village
Responded Aug 31, 2020
Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful review! We're glad you love it and return often.
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kzsull01 wrote a review Jul 2020
Windsor, Connecticut284 contributions216 helpful votes
My husband and I visited Hancock Shaker Village in Hancock/Pittsfield, Massachusetts on Sunday, July 26th, 2020.. We have visited the museum in the past and have always enjoyed it because it is very relaxing, scenic, quite educational and there is always something new to see and do each time that we have gone. It was also about ten degrees cooler there than where we live in Windsor, Connecticut at the time of our visit, being quite comfortable on a hot summer day in July. It is a nice walk back through time in a beautifully restored/preserved Shaker Village. It provides great information from a historical and cultural perspective about how the Shakers lived, worked, worshipped and the innovative goods that they produced. They were quite innovative, productive and spiritual. Our visit this time took about two hours. You didn’t have to have timed tickets, making it quite relaxing and offering the flexibility of not having to arrive at a certain specified timeframe, and most of the buildings were open to walk inside and view what was on display. You were able to effectively practice social distancing with a lot of space available to you and feel safe with everyone required to wear a mask. The beautiful Museum Store was open with such items as reproduced Shaker furniture and much, much more. There was also plenty of free parking convenient to the village. We arrived at the village about 10:15 AM and took the self-guided tour. At the Visitors Center we saw the special exhibit on ‘Notes About Home: 60 Years at Hancock Shaker Village’ which was a nice tribute to the museum’s history and the transformation of the village into a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places in the Berkshires. It provided details about saving the village and its restoration in 1960 into a living history museum in a captivating setting that engages Shaker ideals, artifacts, and their original culture. It showed the museum’s growth and depicted Shaker community industries, furniture, crafts, domestic objects, tools, textiles and garments This was an interesting and educational exhibit. The buildings that were open throughout the village were great to walk-through and explore on the self-guided tour. These buildings are very well preserved and excellently maintained. They have illustrations of traditional Shaker furniture, arts, crafts and tools which nicely depict the Shaker design and how the Shakers lived, worked and worshiped. There were no scheduled tours/demonstrations/presentations at the time of our visit, as in the past, but there were helpful and knowledgeable, interpretive staff members available to ask questions in the major areas/buildings including the Farm and Gardens, Round Stone Barn, Blacksmith/Tannery Building and Large Brick Dwelling. Although we did miss the tours/demonstrations/presentations that have been available in the past that provided very good information and helped drive the discussion and the basis to ask questions, our visit was still very much worthwhile. All the buildings were set-up and organized very nicely with room-setting exhibits having Shaker artifacts depicting the full range of Shaker daily life and how each building was used by the Shakers. Also informative interpretive markers/write-ups were available in each building providing details about what was on display. The set-up, organization and write-ups all effectively illustrated the Shaker’s way of life, including their innovations and products that they produced, such as, furniture, art, crafts, domestic objects, tools, textiles, garments, seeds and much more. There even appeared to be more objects on display than in the past in the buildings that were open.. The grounds were scenic, including the beautiful vegetable, herb and flower gardens that are now part of the village’s working farm. The plants in all the gardens were really thriving at the time of our visit, which were quite impressive. The current gardens have plants the Shakers would have planted during their time, using actual techniques the Shakers used. The farm had breeds of livestock representative of what the Shakers would have kept. The Shakers made their farms to be very efficient and utilized technology wisely in their approach to farming. After leaving the Visitor Center and walking by the gardens and farm we went to the Brick Poultry House. The Brick Poultry House was open, however, did not have a special exhibit as in the past but a few informative write-ups on its walls. The Brick Poultry House depicts the Shaker architectural technique of incorporating windows, including interior wall windows and skylights, into their buildings, to efficiently maximize their lighting. We then enjoyed the iconic Round Stone Barn, with its unique architecture, history and as a place to explore to see the Shakers’ progressive agricultural practices, interesting use of gravity, and their innovative approach to keeping cattle/milking cows. The write-ups entitled ‘The Round Stone Barn’; ‘The Evolution of the Barn Structure’; and the ‘Function of the Barn’ were quite interesting. We also enjoyed the chicks in the Round Stone Barn and the farm animals in the Dairy Ell and farmyard/barnyard, some of which are of a heritage breed and are definitely well-kept, nice to see and take photos of. You could even pet them at certain times. After leaving the Round Stone Barn, Dairy Ell and Barnyard, we went through the Tannery, Blacksmith’s Work Shop, Ice House, the Hired Men’s Shop, the Brick Garage with the nicely restored antique car and then went across the street to see the Horse Barn and Meetinghouse. We then came back across the street to see the Sisters’ Dairy and Weave Shop and Brethren’s Shop all nicely organized, depicting how they were used by the Shaker’s, including the products that they produced. We then went into the large Brick Dwelling which has several rooms of room-setting exhibits having Shaker artifacts nicely illustrating Shaker daily life Finally we went to the Laundry and Machine Shop which nicely illustrated the Shakers’ wise use of technology and very impressive, innovative and productive approach to how they lived and worked. The display of machinery and laundry equipment within this building is quite impressive and interesting to see. This includes the very informative write-ups about the Machine Shop Objects on display and the Laundry and Ironing Rooms. An interesting detail from the write-up about the Ironing Room was that the Shakers developed a wrinkle-resistant and water-repellent fabric in the 19th Century. It was treated with zinc chloride powder that was steamed into the fabric. Quite innovative!! The Village is definitely a nice place to walk around with a lot to see throughout the day, We recommend visiting this museum and hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy it as much as we have. He hope that the museum brings back their scheduled tours/demonstrations/presentations real soon.
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from Navigate29727172014, Public Relations Manager at Hancock Shaker Village
Responded Aug 31, 2020
Hi, and thank you for the detailed and thoughtful review! At the time of your visit, we could not provide tours due to COVID-19 restrictions, but we have now restarted some public demonstrations and are also offering private tours. We still cannot offer the full suite of tours because of the limited space and staff necessitated by COVID-19, but we are offering as much as we can under the circumstances. We hope you return and are glad you enjoyed your visit.
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Denise V wrote a review Jul 2020
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania185 contributions20 helpful votes
We loved touring the grounds and going into the buildings they had open(most were open but limited to one person or family group at a time). It felt very safe to tour here as the grounds were spread out and there was one way foot traffic clearly noted. The staff were super friendly! Loved Veruca the oversized pig!
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from Navigate29727172014, Public Relations Manager at Hancock Shaker Village
Responded Aug 31, 2020
Thanks very much for the nice review!
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