Shaker Village History
About Shaker Village
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a landmark destination that shares 3,000 acres of discovery in the spirit of the Kentucky Shakers. With 34 historic Shaker structures, 36 miles of trails, beautifully-conserved landscapes, seed-to-table dining, 72 hotel rooms, shopping and much more, Shaker Village offers a truly unique experience. Come learn about our past—and discover yourself along the way.
The Shakers were 19th century America’s largest and best-known communal society. They lived a peaceful and progressive lifestyle, believing strongly in the equality of races and genders and freedom from prejudice. The Shaker movement in America began in New York shortly before the American Revolution, and in 1805, a group of Shaker missionaries traveled to central Kentucky and helped establish a village that came to be called Pleasant Hill.
Renowned for their craftsmanship, the Shakers became an active part of the local and regional economies. A quest for simplicity and perfection is reflected in their designs, from brooms to buildings. Their furniture was highly sought-after, and even today, the term ‘Shaker-made’ is synonymous with excellence around the world.
By the 20th century, there were few remaining Shakers at Pleasant Hill, with the last passing away in 1923. The land, buildings and furnishings passed into private hands, and in 1961, a non-profit organization was founded to restore the historic property back to its 19th century appearance.
By 1968, exhibition buildings, accommodations, the dining room and shops were opened to the public.
Today, Shaker Village includes the restored Historic Centre; an educational agricultural center called The Farm; and The Preserve, 2,000 acres of diverse landscapes and wildlife habitat featuring 36 miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding.
With 34 original Shaker structures featuring the simple, beautiful craftsmanship for which the Shakers were known, Shaker Village is home to the country’s largest private collection of original 19th century buildings and is the largest National Historic Landmark in Kentucky.