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“Romantic, idyllic, educational and entertaining!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hancock Shaker Village

Hancock Shaker Village
Ranked #1 of 25 things to do in Pittsfield
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum whose mission is to bring the Shaker story to life and preserve it for future generations. Called the "City of Peace" by the Shakers who lived here for 179 years until 1960, this community was the third of 19 major Shaker Villages located in New York, New England, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. There are 18 original historic buildings on this site. The staff and volunteers are dedicated to making the Village a center for reflection on living the principled life. The values that the Shakers embraced -- equality, pacifism, community, sustainability, responsible land stewardship, innovation, simplicity and quality in work -- resonate with us today. In addition to viewing the architecture, we have so many things to see including the farm and gardens, the animals, costumed interpreters, demonstrations of handicrafts like weaving, spinning, and blacksmithing, hiking and walking trails, the Discovery Room where kids can do hands-on activities, photo and art exhibitions, a cafe and picnic area. We have modern amenities and the village is handicapped accessible.
Williamstown, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
66 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Romantic, idyllic, educational and entertaining!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2013

Where else can you visit and get: romantic, idyllic, educational and entertaining in one package?

The Hancock Shaker Village is a special place - very well-maintained and staffed - that reflects a time gone-by and does a wonderful job of placing the visitor back in the shoes of a Shaker.

There is plenty to see and explore. There is fun for children: intimate encounters with the animals and a whole house dedicated to children's activities plus paths to run along and the big round barn to explore, in awe.

Come with plenty of water and sunscreen/hats as you will be outdoors a lot and will enjoy the visit most if you can keep cool and hydrated.

Visited August 2013
Thank MontereyMama83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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491 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
150 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Rewind 100 Years”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2013

Hancock Shaker Village is a delight. Be sure to watch the film n the entrance building. In the summer you may wander as you please with the aid of a map. Well-informed interpreters are in each building to explain the Shaker way of life. In the winter you must go on a guided tour with others. If possible see the machines in the shop running by water power. A schedule will tell you what time they will start them up. Another highlight is the cooking demonstration in the kitchen.

The lunch room, open in the summer, serves delicious food. Half a sandwich and a cup of home-made soup is a real bargain. Also don't miss the well-stocked shop which sells something for everybody at every price.

Visited April 2013
Thank DEngelJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Wa
Level Contributor
64 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A pleasing experience”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

I had read about the Shakers but, being in the village, was very satisfying. It was great to actually see how these folks lived and prospered. They were undoubtedly very talented and self sustaining.

The only drawback in the 'Village' was that there was only one docent, for the entire village, to provide information about the various buildings. To compound this problem, that docent was assigned to provide a tour of the living quarters but she apparently elected to simply stand in the meeting room and attempt to convince the guests (that had paid a significant fee) that the Shaker lifestyle is a way of life that should be embraced.

How sad...

Visited August 2013
1 Thank moorejc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hancock_Shaker, Manager at Hancock Shaker Village, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
We are sorry that you only experienced one docent in the Village the day that you visited. In fact, we had seven interpreters throughout the Village on that day: in the Brick Dwelling, the Discovery Room, the Gardens, the Round Stone Barn, the Laundry and Machine Shop, the Tannery Woodworking building and the Blacksmith. In addition, we had farm and garden workers and volunteers available to share with you about both the animals and the flowers, herbs and produce that we grow. Everyday at Hancock Shaker Village we have timed talks, tours and demonstrations as listed on our walking tour map: in the Brick Dwelling we have a talk at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. A fascinating Water Turbine demonstration in the Laundry and Machine Shop at 1:00 PM shows how the Shakers used the power of water to run the lathes, power saws, jig saws and washing machines. And at 1:30 PM every day we have a demonstration and talk on Shaker Music in the Brick Dwelling. We hope that you will have another opportunity to visit us again to learn more about the history of the most successful intentional community in America spanning almost 200 years, from 1790 to 1960. Hancock Shaker Village has 20 historic buildings and 750 acres of gorgeous farmland and meadows where animals live year round.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A step back in history for young and old alike.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

Three generations of our family visited Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Ma. on August 6th.

Everyone in our group enjoyed this interactive, live history lesson. The entire village has been restored to reenact the Shaker Way of life in the 1800's. Docents in colonial garb are stationed in the various buildings , live animals roam freely around the grounds of the working farm. Walkways are surrounded by flower, herb and vegetable gardens.

There is an iinteractive, supervised discovery room where children can learn to operate a loom, weave a bracelet, hold a chick and even milk a cow. Period shaker clothing is available to dress up for a family picture.

If you work up an appetite for lunch, the onsite cafe is wonderful!. Vegetables from the gardens are used in the salads and sandwiches. There is a special children's menu and the prices are reasonable.

Before leaving, don't forget to stop at the gift shop. My 10 year old granddaughter bought a small colonial knitting loom that had been enternaining her ever since our outing.

We alll have great memories of this trip.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Lorgagi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Conway, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
85 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“A Gift To Be Simply Beautiful!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

A very important trip to make to be able to understand and observe a special lifestyle and attitude about the Shaker Faith that freely flourished at one time in the United States. In preserving this site with the beautiful gardens, industry, farm animals, music, herbs, crafts with interesting rein-actors and interpreters, the preservation society does a great service to true education by demonstrating the life habits and ingenuity of a inspired group of people. Presenting a caring, communal, innovative and gentle lifestyle to sometimes completely ego-centric twenty-first century atheistic people, must have its challenges to say the least. Freedom is a delicate thing and at Hancock Shaker Village, visitors are able to observe close-up, a people, who demonstrated the truest use of Freedom! The Shakers and Shaker enthusiasts are truly inspired to employ real freedom in respecting this historical heritage and beautifully artistic presentation which, one can only hope, will ultimately promote contemplation and consideration for the present world and its' varied peoples!

Visited July 2013
1 Thank picklesnap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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