Shaker Museum Celebrates 200th Anniversary

By Forrest Sanders | 

You may not think about how the Shaker culture has influenced your everyday life, but if you've swept a floor, chances are, you used a Shaker innovation to do it.

Auburn was the home of a Shaker community for over a century, and now, the site is celebrating the Shaker museum's 200th anniversary.

"I'm here as much out of curiosity as anything. I don't know a great deal about the Shakers. So, for me, it's an opportunity to learn what I can here," museum visitor Don Snow said.

Snow and his wife are visiting Logan County all the way from China. Their friend June Rose Garrott lives in Bowling Green and she's leading her guests through the Shaker museum at South Union.

"I'm just looking forward to being with them during all those 'Oh! Ah hah!' moments," Bowling Green resident June Rose Garrott admitted.

It's a special day for the Shaker museum. Not only because they have guests from across the globe, but because these buildings have been standing in Auburn for 200 years.

The Shakers lived in this area from 1807 to 1922. Though they're long gone from Auburn now, this museum is keeping their traditions alive.

In the Shaker houses, the genders often lived separate lives--men living on one side of the house and women on the other. They were also the first people to flatten the round broom, and music was an integral part of their lives.

"They believed in singing and dancing as part of the worship experience, so people called them Shakers," explained Lillie Mae Hayes, a 23-year Museum Tour Guide.

It's just one aspect of a culture unlike any other. And whether guests are from in-town or out of the country, the Shaker Museum allows a peek at a unique part of Logan County's history.

"And it's been standing there for over 100 years--soon to be 200," Lillie Mae Hayes added.

While the Shaker Museum celebrates a culture that lived in Kentucky long ago, there is a Shaker community alive in the country today.

Several people still carry on the Shaker lifestyle and traditions at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in rural southern Maine.

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