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Enfield Shaker Museum and Garden (page 2 of 2)

by Karen Bussolini


Enfield Shaker Village is a place to enjoy peace and quiet (there are no crowds and no snack bars, and the inn's rooms have no TVs). The easily walked grounds encompass 28 acres, and Mount Assurance, site of the Shakers' Sacred Feast Ground, is now a nature preserve with another 1,100 acres for hiking. The ascent is steep, but it's a worthwhile trek for the views over the lake.

Entry to the museum (in the Laundry and Dairy buildings) costs $7, $6 for seniors, $5 students, and $3 ages 10 through 18. From Memorial Day through Halloween, hours are 10 to 5 Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 Sundays. The rest of the year, hours are 10 to 4 Saturdays, noon to 4 Sundays

Demonstrations by local craftspeople as well as interesting exhibits, including an Enfield seed display box with its printed packages, broaden our understanding of Shaker innovations. The museum shop sells herb mixes and preparations from the gardens along with crafts, books, and gifts. An excellent guide is the pamphlet--A Walking Tour of Chosen Vale.

Throughout the year, a range of events allows visitors to see, feel, hear, and smell what 19th-century Shaker life was like. For a full schedule, call the museum at (603) 632-4346, or visit its Web site,


At the 24-room Shaker Inn at The Great Stone Dwelling, open since 1998, it is a treat to stay in restored sleeping chambers furnished with reproductions of Shaker furniture and to dine in the original dining room. The Museum Store in the inn is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For reservations and midweek specials, call (603) 632-7810 or (888) 707-4257, or visit www.theshaker

How To Get There

From Interstate 89 southeast of Hanover, take exit 17 onto State Highway 4 east. In 1-1/2 miles, turn right onto State 4A and go 3-1/2 miles. The museum is on the left.

Karen Bussolini is a Connecticut-based freelance photographer and writer.

Photography by Suzanne DeJohn/National Gardening Association.

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