Shaker Museum - Mount Lebanon, New Lebanon

#268 of 412 in Historic Sites in New York State
Historic Walking Area · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon holds the world’s most comprehensive Shaker collection and stewards the North Family at Mount Lebanon, the most important Shaker site in America.

The Shaker Museum was founded in 1950 by John S. Williams, Sr. on his farm in Old Chatham, New York. Beginning in the 1930s, Williams traveled extensively to then-active Shaker communities and, often with help from the Shakers, purchased and was given fine examples of their arts, industries, domestic life, and spiritual artifacts. His approach was that of an anthropologist documenting the decline of a culture. Today the Museum’s object and library collection, numbering over 56,000 items, is considered the most comprehensive Shaker collection and is a prime resource for scholars and curators. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1972.

In 2004, the Museum became the owner and steward of the North Family site at Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, consisting of 11 remaining Shaker buildings on 91 acres, part of the Mount Lebanon Shaker Society National Historic Landmark district. The Museum’s efforts are underway to restore the site and relocate there. Toward that end, the facility in Old Chatham closed to regular visitors in 2009, and since 2011 the Museum has offered seasonal guided tours, programs and exhibitions at the North Family, Mount Lebanon and the surrounding area.
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Shaker Museum - Mount Lebanon reviews

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23 reviews
  • We visited the Museum on our way to another destination. It was an interesting and informative experience into the Shaker culture. The grounds were quite expansive with explanations of the uses of...  more »
  • The shaker museum is an amazing collection of objects and buildings! They are an amazing repository for the culture and society of the Shakers here in New York! It clearly is a beautifully...  more »
  • This place is amazing. Built so long ago and they are still using the building today. Some for housing for a private school. The museum is nice to see and stone barn is worth the trip.
  • The history and work of the Shakers is wonderful. You can tour one of the buildings and see the outside of the others. They are using some of the buildings to house students for a private school. Great to see building over 100 years old still in use.

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