Shaker Shops West

Shaker sitting in chair

The Shaker Heritage

The years that marked the birth of America's freedom and independence also marked the end of religious persecution of a small but growing sect of refugees from England. These men and women were known as the Shakers. Though they chose to withdraw from worldly pleasures and the politics of their new homeland, they were to become an integral part of America's growth.

Quietly, with honesty and simplicity found mostly in those devoted to a spiritual life, the Shakers created a world of natural beauty still without parallel today. Continually searching for perfection, their way of life and way of work became uniquely interrelated. At the same time, the Shakers achieved enviably clear purpose for their architecture, crafts, and style of living.

While acting for the benefit of the whole, the skill and genius of the individual were still valued. Everyone worked at what he or she did best. They believed that work, by teaching humility and a sense of order, benefitted the soul. "Put your hands to work, and your hearts to God" was a practiced maxim.

The utilitarian minded Shakers invented or innovated many items that we are apt to take for granted, such as the flat broom, the wooden clothes pin, the threshing machine, metal pen point, and packaged garden seeds. On the other hand, they were so highly esteemed for their chair designs that Sister Mildred Barker, of the Sabbath Day Lake, Maine community, commented that they don't want to be remembered as a stick of furniture. From their industry, quite unintentionally, solid American functionalism soared to a fresh realm of classic beauty.

Today the 22 communities that once hummed with energy have all but disappeared. Changing times, their decision to close ranks, and the practice of celibacy have reduced their members from 6,000 to a mere handful; but Shaker values and the manifestation of them in their design will always withstand the passing of time and be found relevant.

Welcome to Shaker Shops West
Ordering Information .. The Shaker Heritage .. email us

Chairs & Rockers .. Trestle Tables .. Benches, Stands, & Step Stools
Classic Shaker Maple Beds .. Dressers, Mirrors, & Nightstands
Wardrobe Cabinets, Writing Desks, & Storage Towers
Cedar-lined Blanket Chests

Accessories -- lanterns & votives, kitchenware, milk paints, pegboards, & more

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