Enfield Shaker School Children with Sister Fanny Fallon

Teacher Resources on the Shakers

Who are the Shakers?

The United Society of Believers in Christ’ Second Appearing are a communal, celibate, Protestant Christian sect whose members first came to America from England in 1774 and eventually established communities throughout New England, New York, Ohio, and Kentucky. They practice celibacy, communal ownership of property, equality of the sexes and races, pacifism, and confession of sin (to Elders or Eldresses). Although the first Shakers arrived here with much of their spiritual and social agenda formulated, it was in America that they developed their communal, agricultural lifestyle, and they are today considered an American religious movement.

Enfield, NH Shaker Community

Founded in 1793, the Enfield Shaker village was the ninth of 18 major Shaker communities established in the United States. At its peak in the mid-19th century, the community was home to three “Families” of Shakers. Here, Brothers, Sisters, and children lived, worked, and worshiped. Striving to create a heaven on earth, the Enfield Shakers built more than 100 buildings, farmed over 3,000 acres of fertile land, educated children in model schools, and followed the “Shaker Way” of worship. In 1923, after 130 years of farming, manufacturing, and productive existence, declining membership forced the Shakers to close their community and put it up for sale.

Learning Materials

Below are a variety of materials which will help your class connect with the legacy of the Enfield Shakers:

Does your class have a Shaker related question?

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