The 1910 barn at Hancock Shaker Village was built on the stone foundations of an 1880 barn that had been destroyed by fire after it was struck by lightning on August 2. 1910. An even earlier calf barn on the site had been destroyed by fire in 1879. The new barn was constructed for the Shakers by the firm of Osteyee Brothers using concrete with an exterior stuccoed in cement and a slate roof, all to prevent future fires. A wooden dairy ell for Holstein cows was added in 1939 and the Hancock Shaker Village museum has reconstructed an attached equipment shed that had been demolished in the early 1960s.
Harvard Shaker Village was divided into separate complexes known as the Church, North, South, and East Families. Among the buildings that survive from the South Family is the large Dwelling House (or Dormitory), constructed in 1846/1848 (its current address is 101 South Shaker Road). It is joined at the rear to the laundry, or washhouse, built in 1823 (or perhaps as early as 1800). With their numbers dwindling in later years, the Shakers sold the building in 1899 and the remaining members of the South Family moved to join the Church family. The Dwelling House was later used as a chicken coop and in the 1940s as a fresh-air camp for city children. In 2003, it was converted into living space. The Dwelling House has a bell tower containing its original bell. The building also retains 65 original windows. Read More
The Ministry’s Shop at Harvard Shaker Village was built in 1847-1848. For half of each month, it was the residence and workplace of the Ministry–the Elders who governed a bishopric that included both the Harvard and Shirley Shaker villages. The building, at 84 Shaker Road in Harvard, is now a private residence. It has a wing and ell that were added in the 1930s by architect Stanley Bruce Elwell.
Replacing an earlier office next door (now at the Fruitlands Museum), the Harvard Shakers built the structure known as the New Office Building (or Second Trustees’ Office) the at 78 Shaker Road in 1840-1841. Here the Harvard Shakers had their dealings with the outside world. The large building housed the community’s Trustees, hired help and visitors (among whom were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne). A shop on the first floor sold the Shaker Sisters’ fancy work. In 1935/1936, architect Stanley Bruce Elwell remodeled the interior of the building as a summer residence for Robert Treat Paine. The novelist Thomas Wolfe was once interested in buying the house which, like the other buildings of the Harvard Shaker Village, remains a private residence.
The building at 88 Shaker Road in Harvard was built c. 1800 by the Center Church Family of the Harvard Shakers as a workshop. The building was originally on the site of the New Office, built in 1840. Sometime before then it was moved to its current location and it then became the Tailor Shop, where clothing was made for the Shaker Brethren and Sisters. It is now a residence. The current owners built a rear addition in 2001.
The second house or dormitory to be built by the Shakers of Harvard was constructed in 1795. The Harvard Shakers divided their community into separate complexes: the Church, North, South, and East Families. Located at 79 Shaker Road, the Second House is the only surviving Church Family dwelling house. About 1860/1870, it was enlarged from a gambrel to a gable roof structure. The Shaker Second House was later owned by Dr. Benjamin Woodbury, who divided it into rental apartments during the Second World War. The house remains a private residence today.
The Meetinghouse at the former Harvard Shaker Village, which existed from 1791 to 1917, is one of ten built by the Enfield Shaker Moses Johnson (for instance, he also built the Shirley Shaker Meeting House, now located at Hancock Shaker Village). The frame of the Meetinghouse was raised on June 8, 1791 and the first Sabbath meeting was held inside on January 22, 1792. The Shakers moved the building southwards to its present site (82 Shaker Road) in 1857. At that time, they enlarged the original gambrel roof to a gable roof and added a stairway ell on each end of the building. The building is now a private residence.