Travel Obscura

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill – Harrodsburg, Kentucky -A Bit Farther3 min read time

The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, Kentucky is a historical treasure in which you can immerse yourself.   If you want to experience some of the aspects of Shaker life you can actually stay […]

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The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, Kentucky is a historical treasure in which you can immerse yourself.   If you want to experience some of the aspects of Shaker life you can actually stay

in rooms in the renovated buildings in this small village.

Wikipedia has a long write up on the founding and workings of the Kentucky Shaker Village.

From Wikipedia:

Preservation efforts

Following the dissolution of the Shaker society in 1910, the property changed hands several times and was used for a variety of purposes. Elderly Shakers continued to live on the property until the death in 1923 of Mary Settles, the last Pleasant Hill Believer.

The Meeting House was converted for use as an automotive garage; the wood floor, built to withstand the dancing of several hundred brethren and sisters, proved strong enough to support the vehicles driven onto its surface. Some years later the structure was again converted, this time for use as a Baptist church.

Following World War II, residents in the region took a renewed interest in the crumbling village of Pleasant Hill. An admirer was the writer Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk at the nearby Abbey of Gethsemani. Having mentioned Pleasant Hill in his writings as early as 1949, Merton took considerable interest in the community from his first visit there in 1959 until his death in 1968.

Others shared his interest. In 1961 a group of Lexington-area citizens led by Joseph Graves and Earl D. Wallace launched an effort to restore the property. By 1964 the Friends of Pleasant Hill had organized a non-profit corporation, raised funds for operating expenses, and secured a $2 million federal loan to purchase and restore the site. James Lowry Cogar, a former Woodford County resident and first curator of Colonial Williamsburg, was recruited to oversee the complex preservation project.

Today, with 34 original 19th-century buildings and 2,800 acres (1100 hectares) of farmland, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill claims to be “the largest historic community of its kind in America.”


The Trustee’s Office contains a small gift shop, reception area, rooms, kitchen and dining areas.    Since we stayed in one of the renovated buildings, we had the opportunity to eat several meals here.  Wow! was the food good!   The menu varies through the seasons and  is based on dishes cooked & served by the Shakers and uses produce grown on the property as much as possible.

All the multi-story buildings have spiral staircases.  My favorite was in the Trustee’s Office building.   This was fun to shoot.  I used the articulating arm on my Vanguard tripod to get my camera out over the staircase & used my wire trigger to fire the camera (would use my wireless trigger now)!

This is a working farm with livestock and gardens.

They also have workshops where the workers & volunteers make the handmade items they sell in the giftshops.


If you are in the Lexington, KY area, take the time to go on a bit through the mountains and visit this unique historical site.   If you have some time, I would recommend booking a room!  They are modern (bathroom with showers) but you hang your clothes on hooks on the walls and the furniture is very much shaker style!  And for sure eat a meal in their dining room!

Check the Shaker Village website for various events they have for each season and for all ages!~

For larger versions and even more images please click on over to my gallery!

That is all for now!


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Lynn Wiezycki

Come with Lynn as she travels around Florida & sometimes a bit farther to other states & countries. She is always on the lookout for interesting things, places, people and most of all, light, to photograph. So you never know what the next images will be through the The Illuminating Lens

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