Saturday evening was spent at Shaker Village, enjoying a Christmas of old. A village simply decorated with green boughs, red bows and candlelight. We arrived at sunset. Such a perfect setting for a lovely evening. A huge flock of geese winged their way from the pond to distant places – flying directly overhead just after I snapped this photo. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to catch them in flight! I used no flash during our visit – to keep in the tone of the time period represented.
Post lamps throughout the village lit the way – although nothing as bright as today’s standards. It was quite dark during most of our visit, giving one a sense of what the life of the Shakers must have been. Long winter nights with only the moon and stars to guide their way through the village. And quiet – even the guests spoke in hushed tones. It was as if the lovely mood could be broken with harsh sounds!
The Centre Family Dwelling gleams in the moonlight and candlelight. Such a beautiful building! As you can see in the picture below, there were two doors – men entered through one door and women through the other. The Shakers thought the second coming of Christ imminent – within their lifetimes – that was the basis of their celibacy.
As you can see in the following picture, the moon was highly visible above the treetops. The clouds and the few stars made for a beautiful evening sky. As we were leaving, our friends saw a large shooting star – a magical night indeed! Their faces registered their surprise! Ritchey and I were facing them and missed it!
The Trustee’s Dining Room was filled with hungry visitors. No one can resist the food at Shaker Village! From previous posts you know just how delicious it is!
Grey Percherons, draft horses originally from France, were waiting to take guests on a jungle bell ride through the village. Not a sleigh, but a wagon was the mode of transportation! Percherons were originally bred for use as war horses, but eventually were used for stage coaches and hauling heavy goods.
One of the little girls in the wagon was having a grand time – she waved to everyone!
All houses had a majestic, unearthly glow about them. Not an unpleasant effect – quite the opposite. It gave them a welcoming, homey appearance.
Fires burned brightly in metal containers. Good for warming cold hands! Hot chocolate and yummy cookies were served – and people gathered around to hear carols sung. This was a lovely evening – spent at one of our favorite places – with two of our dearest friends! Soon we will visit again for Christmas Tea!