Canterbury Shaker Village is an internationally known, non-profit museum and historic site in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Founded in 1969, it is an ideal place for learning, reflection, and renewal of the human spirit. The village is a unique resource for learning about Shaker architectural intent and early Shaker community planning and design, as well as many periods of Shaker life.
The Shakers are a religious group formed in 18th-century England when dissidents from various religions, including English Quakers and Methodists, formed a religious society based on prophetic doctrine.
Historical evidence reveals that the village was established in 1792, when followers of founder Mother Ann Lee formed their seventh community in Canterbury. It has been exclusively an outdoor history museum since the last Shaker resident died in 1992. Being one of the oldest and most completely preserved Shaker Villages, CSV boasts the only intact, first-generation 18th century meetinghouse and dwelling House, both in their original locations.
Currently, Canterbury Shaker Village consist of 25 original Shaker buildings, three reconstructed Shaker buildings, and 694 acres of gardens, nature trails, woods, ponds, and meadows, maintaining the heritage of the Canterbury Shakers. CSV is dedicated to preserving the 200-year legacy of the Canterbury Shakers and is designated as a National Historic Landmark for its architectural integrity and significance.
CSV's museum collections contain about 30,000 objects, 10,000 photographic images, and more than 35,000 manuscript items of Shaker. Photographs of the exhibited items are available for study and personal use, or for approved reproduction purposes upon request. Historic photographs also are available for sale through the museum store. The Archives Reading Room is open to the public for research purposes. The museum conducts such summer events as concerts, workshops, and special events, from Mother Ann Day to Wool Day. Membership facilities also are provided. Through tours, buildings, gardens, programs, exhibits, research, lectures, and publications, one gets a rare a glimpse at the Canterbury Shakers' life, ideas, and values.