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“The most realistic historical community we've ever visited”

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.
Vernon, Connecticut
Level Contributor
60 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“The most realistic historical community we've ever visited”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

As a couple of history majors, we go to a LOT of historical sites. The majority of them are manufactured re-enactments of similar historical sites (for example, Old Sturbridge Village is great but it was put together to show what a town and country farm would have been like - the buildings were all brought from different parts of the state and the Village was created). Hancock Shaker Village is an actual Shaker settlement that thrived for many years. The way they divided the work yet treated everyone (male and female) as equals was amazing. The baby animals were adorable and the staff was very knowledgeable and informative. A definite must for anyone visiting the Berkshires!

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Rita C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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515 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Carrollton, Virginia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“So much fun!”
Reviewed 17 April 2014

I spent a wonderful Spring Saturday at the Hancock Shaker Village and LOVED it! There is so much to see and learn about these people and the way they lived. I especially loved the round barn and all the baby animals. I was able to return in the Fall for their Country Fair, which consists of artisan craft vendors, a farmer's market, a quilt show, etc. I was also able to see how much the baby animals had grown over the summer...and pick up a couple Shaker baskets for souveniers! A fun experience!

Visited August 2013
Thank Marnie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Magnificent setting and fascinating life style”
Reviewed 17 April 2014

Beautiful bucolic Berkshire setting and a fascinating look at the Shaker life style. Be sure to take a tour.

Visited August 2013
Thank Sandyluvs2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
121 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Excellent trip into little known history.”
Reviewed 11 March 2014

This is a good place to learn about the little known Shaker villages. We have visited Pleasant hill in Harodsburg, Kentucky several time in the past. This village is smaller but has interesting features not found at Pleasant Hill. One should not miss the demonstration of the horizontal water powered turbine. This device is an example of the adaptability of the Shaker communities. The Shakers were not an old order sect but willing to use contemporary technology. They were innovative and invented several technological advances of their time.

One may not understand their celibate lifestyle but they provided safe and comfortable living for widows, orphans and poor people in a time when these folks were often overlooked by general society.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank mzungu333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Carolina
Level Contributor
138 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Well Worth Half A Day”
Reviewed 8 January 2014

We vacationed in the Berkshires in Oct & spent a very pleasant afternoon at the Hancock Shaker Village just outside Pittsfield, MA. It is a carefully restored Shaker community showing how life was in this village of farmers, craftsmen & amazing inventors. So many ingenious ideas came out of this small village. The buildings are opened for your exploration & enjoyment & several buildings have staff available to help explain what you see & how it fit into the regulated lives of these kind-hearted religious people. This Village is 2nd only to the Norman Rockwell Museum on the “must-see list” for this area.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank SnoopyRock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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