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Shaker Spring Forum

April 4th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Communal Societies, Shaker, Site Seeing, travel, Uncategorized

I sit typing in a room used since 1857 as a spiritual meeting place by the Shakers of this community.  How fascinating to sit in the middle of this room using wireless and a laptop in a space once used to observe one’s spiritual beliefs.  I sit and imagine how odd it feels and wonder what the Shakers that lived and worshipped here would think should they be able to sit here with me.

Hubby and I are attending the Shaker Spring Forum this weekend being hosted by Enfield Shaker Museum.  If you’ve read my blog previously, you know that this is a scholarly hobby we share.  We attend a few events every year; and never fail to learn something of interest about these very interesting people.

The weekend began last night with a guided tour of their current exhibit, "Shaker Yokefellows: Enfield Shakers from Vermont."  For Robert Frost enthusiasts, you’ll be able to figure out where the title of the exhibit is derived.   Then a fabulous dinner!

Today was six presentations: very high quality scholarship and presentations.  The topics covered were gendered landscape, Canterbury leadership, the relationship between Shaker women and the girls they cared for, cooperage at Enfield, the story of Eunice Chapman and her child, and wonderful Shaker music.  (Tomorrow when I get home, I’ll post some photos:  I forgot the cable to upload them (of course!)). For a more detailed description, go to the Enfield website and you’ll find a pdf with the details.

The evening ended with another fabulous Shaker dinner with a story teller – Rebecca Rule -  regaling us with stories of New Hampshire — creatively, with some success, related to the lives and times of the Shakers.   Both dinners come from Eldress Bertha: my favorite, no surprise, being desert tonight:  chocolate zucchini cake a la mode.  A recipe I’ve used several times at home.

There’s a presentation and tour tomorrow morning and lunch before we head home.  It’s a bit tiring but a wonderful way to spend a weekend away.

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