Public Square

South Union Shaker Village


“Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free

‘Tis a gift to come down where I ought to be

And when I am in the place just right

I will be in the valley of love and delight

When true simplicity is gained

To bow and to bend I will not be ashamed

To turn, to turn will be my delight

‘Til by turning, turning, I come ’round right.”

~ Joseph Brackett ~

(Written while living in Alfred, Maine)



We were looking for Sugar Cream Pie, which we did not find until Indiana, when we decided to stop at the South Union Shaker Village; but very much enjoyed strolling through this historical site that harkens back to a world where the individuals desire to draw closer to God, dictated the way they lived their lives.

The Shakers, or the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, is a Protestant group of believers, an offshoot of the Quakers, which came to the United States from England, during the mid-18th Century; and now has all but disappeared, with only one remaining community.

Located in Auburn, Kentucky, the South Union Shaker Village was the most westward Shaker community. Today, the collection of buildings and grounds serve as a museum and historical site, allowing us to explore there their unique way of life; which included mandatory celibacy for all of its members.



Communal meals eaten at communal tables, the men would enter through the east door, to sit on eastern side of the room, while the women would enter to the west — meals taken segregated by gender and eaten in silence



The pantry



I love this silverware cabinet — everything hand made



“Many hands make light work”



The bedrooms were upstairs, men used one stair case and women the other

(directly in the middle of the stairs is part of the area now used for the gift shop)



An example of the famed Shaker Corner Cupboard



The site covered almost ten acres of land



I love these little touches — a Boot Scrapper!




“Organized, 1808, as Gasper Society of United Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing. Building program started and trade established in textiles, seeds, mill products, and purebred cattle.  Peak membership 350; acreage 6,000.  Most prosperous period 1840-60.  Last western colony to disband. 1922 Museum moved here, 1972 with handcrafts and furniture of the Shakers.”


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