A little research on the internet and I uncovered a definite possibility for some interesting sight-seeing. Also, a definite possibility for some very photogenic landscape. So I checked out of the hotel, stuffed my luggage into the back of the SUV, and headed in the exact opposite direction of Vermont. I headed south toward Pittsfield and then a little southwest from there to the Hancock Shaker Village.
A long time ago, when I lived in Massachusetts, we were very close to the historical reproduction village of Sturbridge Village. I always enjoyed going there. Hancock Shaker Village could be just as enjoyable and, besides, the drive to get there, and then the drive from there up to Manchester VT on Rte 22 through NY would be very entertaining.
|Brick Dwelling building|
contained dorm rooms, meeting room, kitchen,
dining hall, canning and food storage cellars
A woman in 1800's Shaker costume then joined us and proceeded to give us an excellent narrative of the history of the religion, how Mother Ann came over from England to the U.S. in the 1700's and brought a small group of followers with her and how the Shakers eventually acquired this land and settled this permanent colony.
|A female Retiring Room|
Imagine this: the window sashes are completely removable with just the turn of two screws. How easy to clean! And why did we go to weights and then springs on sashes to hold windows open?? Those very same screws on those Shaker windows act as "set screws." Back those screws out a little, raise the window, then tighten the screws. And the wood finish on the windows, the window casements, the sills, the original furniture, was just beautiful!
|Originally the men's dining hall ante-room, |
furnished today to showcase period furniture
|Originally one of the Retiring Rooms,|
furnished today to show period pieces.
I went up to the second floor and poked my head into the rooms. This floor and the third floor were at one time all 'retiring rooms' but some have been furnished today with trappings and furniture to show other activities that would have taken place in other buildings in the colony. The east-west segregation continued within this building from the attic all the way down to the basement. Women's retiring rooms were all lined up on the west side of the building, men's on the east side. The sisters sat in a small ante-room on the west side of the building, next to the dining room, and the men had a waiting room on the east side. When the bell rang to call them to meals, they gathered in their respective ante rooms until the lead sister and lead brother led them into the dining room. They didn't talk, they simply filed in, sat on their proper side of the room, prayed, ate, then got up and left.
The official tour over, we were free to roam the grounds of the colony, poke our heads into the other buildings. I headed over to the very unique Round Barn. There were a few calves, pigs, goats in stalls in an adjoined barn and outside there were a couple of very serious-looking rams penned in separately from the sheep that were roaming freely in a large field.
|I wanted to take this cute |
little Silkie Bantam home
|I've never seen such big turkeys!|
Re-enactors, dressed in costume, were working in the various buildings and telling the visitors a bit about what they were doing. There was a blacksmith, a woodworker, a fellow making brooms, and they would answer any questions the visitors might have.
When I'd had enough, I strolled back to the visitor center, which forces exit through the gift shop, of course, and then turned in my audio tour device and headed for the car.
It was about 1:30 PM and I was thinking about lunch, so I let my GPS tell me how to get to Manchester VT, thinking I'd spot someplace interesting and stop there for lunch along the way. My GPS did not let me down. She took me west into NY and onto Rte 22 heading north. It was an outstanding little road! It connected with Rte 7 in Hoosick and I took it heading east/north into Vermont. Just near the state line, I spotted the perfect spot to stop for lunch!!
Now fed, thirst quenched, I continued on 7 all the way to Manchester VT, my home for the next few days.
Tomorrow: a llittle run in the morning and then some local sight-seeing in the Manchester VT area.