Shaker Village my photos, my words

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Ky., near Harrodsburg, is the site of a Shaker religious community that was active from 1805 to 1910. Many of the structures in the village have been restored and are now used as an inn for lodging.

The site, a National Historic Landmark, features unique Shaker architecture.


Shaker architecture can be described as balanced. Buildings typically include separate, identical, side-by-side doors and staircases — one for men, one for women. The balanced architecture is best shown by the twin staircases and doors in the Centre Family Dwelling.

Double staircases, Centre Family Dwelling.

The Trustees’ Office has side-by-side spiral staircases, a unique example of amazing craftsmanship that separates Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Ky., from other Shaker villages around the country. The twin spiral staircases have been photographed thousands of times and are used as the identifying feature of the village.

Looking down one of the side-by-side spiral staircases in the Trustee Office building.
One of the twin spiral staircases, Trustees' Office building.

Every structure in the village provides a lesson in history and architectural ingenuity as well as an opportunity for photo hobbyists to capture interesting images.

Grandfather’s clock between doors in the Centre Family Dwelling.
Staircases in the Centre Family Dwelling.
Staircases in the Centre Family Dwelling.
Arched hallway in the Centre Family Dwelling.
Staircases in the Centre Family Dwelling.

The grounds

The grounds at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Ky., include 34 original-19th century buildings, a working farm and a nature preserve spread across than 3,000 acres. The ground can be toured easily by foot or by riding in a horse-drawn wagon.

Touring the grounds. (Click on a photo to see a larger version)


Local craftsmen and women, dressed in clothing suitable for the period and using tools available in the 19th century, create furniture and other items while visitors watch. The items are sold in the shop at Shaker Village, with proceeds from sales used to help sustain the historic village.

Bundled broomcorn in a window, East Family Brethren's Shop.
A stack of Shaker boxes.
Cobbler's room, Centre Family Dwelling.
Yarn for weaving cloth, East Family Sisters' Shop.
Colored bottles in window of the Carpenters' Shop.
Hand-carved walking sticks hang from a rack in the gift shop.
Hand-made Shaker brooms in the gift shop.
Hand-made candles are stacked in a display in the gift shop.
Hat on woodworking equipment in the Cooper's Shop.
Hat and pegs in the Centre Family Dwelling.

Photos in this collection were taken in June 2008 while we were attending my wife’s family reunion. We spent two nights in the inn and enjoyed excellent breakfasts in the Trustees’ Office Dining Room.

All the photos were taken with the camera hand held and using available light, although I did supplement the lighting with some fill-in flash on a couple of the images. Photographers are welcomed at Shaker Village, but tripods are frowned on.

Created By
Pat D. Hemlepp


All photographs and text: © Copyright - Pat D. Hemlepp

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.