North of Concord, New Hampshire, just a short detour off of I-93, you’ll find Canterbury Shaker Village. Founded in 1792, just eighteen years after the first Shakers immigrated to America from England, the Shaker village in Canterbuy was one of nineteen Shaker communities in the United States. Shakers lived, worked, and worshiped at Canterbury Village for some 200 years, with the population reaching 300 during the 1850s. The last shaker who lived at Canterbury Village, sister Ethel Hudson, passed away in 1992.
Functioning solely as a historical museum since then, Canterbury Shaker Village offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself into another time and place, and for the contemplative among us, examine the unfamiliar yet intriguing way that the Shakers viewed the interconnectedness of worship, work, family, and community.
A national historic landmark as well as a museum, the village is home to twenty-five restored shaker buildings. With 694 acres of gardens, fields, ponds and forests, the village offers tours, exhibits, workshops, and family programs, as well as some unique shopping and delicious food. The Village is open daily from May 16 through October 31 and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in November. In December, check their schedule for the “Christmas at Canterbury” program. While any time is a good time to visit, special events for any taste are scattered throughout the year. Check their schedule for information about specific events that you might be interested in.