Access to inexpensively leased land in New York’s Capital Region allowed the Shakers to realize their vision to establish a Utopian religious society.
Led by Ann Lee, they arrived in 1776. Their governing principals included celibacy, pacifism, and agrarian communal living.
Through hard work and ingenuity the Shakers transformed the swampy landscape into fertile farmland and built a simple but prosperous existence.
Shaker seeds and medicinal herbs were sold throughout the U-S, and their cottage industries flourished. Blending art with craftsmanship, the Shakers also excelled in furniture making and weaving.
Their planned communities emphasized gender and racial equality and a belief that beauty rests in utility.
Explore more at the Shaker Heritage Society in Colonie, and The Shaker Museum at Mount Lebanon, two more places to experience real moments, real life and real stories on New York’s Path Through History.