Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield

4.6
#1 of 11 in Things to do in Pittsfield
Today a living museum, Hancock Shaker Village was established as a Shaker community in 1791. Shakers lived in what was called the "City of Peace" until 1960. The 304 hectare (750 acre) property has retained 20 of its historical buildings, which are filled with authentic Shaker artifacts. The working farm and craft demonstrations, such as weaving and woodworking, provide an insight into the daily routines of a Shaker village. Feel free to approach costumed staff with questions or to learn more about the Shaker principles, such as pacifism, communal living, celibacy, and gender equality. You can grab a bite to eat at The Village Harvest cafe, which also offers takeout picnics. Hike the 1.6 km (1 mi) Farm and Forest trail if time allows. Add Hancock Shaker Village and other attractions to your Pittsfield trip itinerary using our Pittsfield travel planning app .
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Hancock Shaker Village Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
590 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We were in the Berkshires with my parents and spent 1/2 day at the Shaker VIllage. We learned a ton about this sect and the influences they had on our society.  more »
  • Aside from its being a genuine historic gem, what really makes this place stand out is their docents. They are totally knowledgeable and make the visit a real experience, not just a “walk through.” Th...  more »
  • Intrigued by the 'round barn'. Spring is a great time to see the baby animals and gardening is beginning.  more »
Google
  • My daughter loves this place with it's unfamiliar structures/architectural designs that help her to step into the past. I brought my mother (who is in a wheelchair) here and while many of the buildings would be difficult if not impossible for her to get into, there is much to be enjoyed from the exterior of the buildings. The wooden paths are easy enough to get a wheelchair over.
  • A nice outdoor museum / historical site. There is a visitors' center with artifacts, a film and lots of furniture. Man, those Shakers knew how to design and build things. Since the shakers existed into the 20th century, the buildings are well documented and there are MA NY photographs. The main attraction is the central barn. And the have a adjoining Manger with cows and goats and Pig's. My only beef with the site is that too many of the buildings aren't accessible. Most don't have ramps to get into the first floor, much less any of the floors above that. As an outdoor site, it's good for rowdy children, plus you can discuss how the Shakers took in orphans and poor families and all the chores that children were expected to do to contribute at an early age. Recommended.
  • An unexpected gem. My wife and I visited and expected to spend a few hours poking around in the middle of the day. Instead, we spent the entire day here and loved every minute. We easily could have spent another day checking out all the exhibits and classes. We enjoyed a discussion about medicinal plants, about the Shaker use of hydro-power, and explored the working barn. We also visited with the blacksmith, the basket maker, the weaver, and the woodworker. What was great about these artisans is they are actually artisans, not guides who have been trained to do one or two things. You encounter people who are truly passionate about their art and it shows in their conversations. If you're in the area, you have to visit the Shaker Village.
  • Hancock Shaker Village is a wonderful place to learn about and experience the history of the Shakers. Just outside of Pittsfield it’s a great place to stop on your way through the Berkshires or visit for the day. I would definitely recommend it to ANYONE who hasn’t been there yet.
  • Well preserved, informative exhibits and homes. Great staff. One of the highlights of our trip. Delicious food at the cafe. Nice gift shop.

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