Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pleasant Hill Shakers [part 2]

I found the tourist brochure of Pleasant Hill [think excavating top of dining table!] and scanned the map.
I think if you click on it you can enlarge it enought to read the legend.
The buildings colored in green are open to the pulbic.
The others are used as administrative buildings or as accomodation and meeting rooms for paying guests--one of the ways of funding the restoration and upkeep of the village.

This large building is made of quarried and dressed limestone.
It's original purpose was the Center Family Dwelling.
The ground level windows allow light into the deep basement which contains the kitchen and storage areas.
The herb garden looks more presentable in this shot, but was in need of some care--and some water.

Kitchen tools in a rather dark corner.
At the left on the bottom shelf are wooden 'slaw' cutters--one places the cutter over a tray or large pan, runs a halved or quartered head of cabbage along the sharp blades to make 'cole slaw' or sauerkraut.
[M and G purchased a similar vintage kraut cutter at a local Mennonite store.]

I think this workroom was on the ground floor at the back of the building--still rather dark with the shade of big trees outside.
I admired the corner hutch and the worn wooden bowl.

Another work room.
Note tools neatly hung on the peg rail and the simple yet lovely proportions of the storage cupboard.
[J. and I are partial to this style of cabinetry and have installed reproduction units {fitted kitchens} in several of the houses we built. We replaced the existing kitchen units in our small Kentucky cottage with this style.]

Upstairs in the hallway of the Center Family Dwelling.
I suspect each occupant had a drawer in this large built-in unit for storing small items of clothing.
On either side the railings of the double stairway are visible.
Men and women did not use the same staircase!

I could have made myself at home in this workroom.
Wouldn't some geraniums and potted herbs do well on the windowsills?
I don't suppose the Shakers would have allowed a cat house privileges, yet
I can imagine a feline happily stretched on the sill soaking up sun.

This workroom especially appealed to me.
The Shakers conducted a thriving business in the sale of seeds and plants.
The slotted racks would have held seeds carefully weighed and folded into neatly labeled paper packets.

Another view of the light and airy seed room.

Across the hall from the seed packaging room was the domain of the herbalist.
Bunches of dried herbs and medicinals hang from the pegs; mortars and pestles are on the work table.

Glass bottles neatly ranked on shelves behind closed doors would have held potions and powders
and more tools of the apothacary's trade.

This room was devoted to the cobbler's work.
I wondered if the original workrooms were located here or in some of the smaller outbuildings.
You can read more about the Pleasant Hill Community at the link below--which leads to other pages if you are interested in more Shaker history.


  1. I love the clean, uncluttered look of Shaker, but I'd mix it in with all my mess. Some how too much of it looks sterile.
    Thanks for the look around.

  2. Janet: While I love the furniture I can't imagine having the financial means to furnish a home with the fine reproductions...the originals are understandably scarce. I also think that an 'eclectic' mix of things is nice. I have quite a few cherished older pieces, some of them from my mother's family.
    I think the sterility of the look is due to the fact that the Shakers used no softening ornamentation--we would have our needlework, family photos, personal crafts, etc to personalize and warm our space.

  3. Another great post ...followed the link yesterday ...gave me a better insite into their lives ...thanks for sharing your great day out.xx