The North Family Shakers
The Shakers were guided by core values of conviction, integrity, inclusion, and innovation. They were early advocates of gender equality, welcomed African Americans, practiced pacifism, and put community needs above individual ones. They were successful entrepreneurs known for their various manufacturing enterprises, their creation of beautiful objects that have fascinated generations of admirers, and their significant impact on modern design and architecture. The Shakers made important contributions to religious thought, progressive causes, music, craft, agriculture, and industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Mount Lebanon was the leading Shaker society in America for 160 years from its founding in 1787 through its closing in 1947, and the North Family was its face to the wider World, composed of some of the most progressive and public Shakers in history.
Join this tour for an in-depth look at this special group – their architecture, landscape, and their progressive values. Learn about the Great Stone Barn of 1859, the Granary of 1838, the Forge of 1849, and other important structures that aided in the Shakers’ booming industry and communal life.
This event will happen rain or shine.
*Please note: artifacts are only accessible via collections tours. To view the collection, become a member today.
Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Shaker objects, archives, and books, and stewards the historic North Family site at Mount Lebanon, the founding community of the Shakers. The Shaker Museum was founded in 1950 by John S. Williams, Sr. on his farm in Old Chatham, New York. Beginning in the 1930s, Williams traveled extensively to then-active Shaker communities and collected examples of their arts, industries, and domestic life, as well as spiritual artifacts. His approach was that of an anthropologist documenting the decline of a culture. Today the museum’s collection is a prime resource for scholars and curators. In 2004, the museum became the owner and steward of the North Family site at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, consisting of 11 Shaker buildings on 91 acres, and the museum’s name was changed from Shaker Museum & Library to Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon. The Mount Lebanon site is open year-round, with a visitor center and shop open seasonally. The Old Chatham site, which houses collections storage, the library, and the administrative offices, is open year-round by appointment.