North Family, Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, 202 Shaker Road, New Lebanon, Columbia County, NY
Significance: Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, which operated from 1787 to 1947, was the largest, most successful, and influential of the Shaker communities in America, earning the reputation as the "Central Ministry." The Shakers were founded as a Christian sect in England in 1747 under the leadership of Ann Lee. Like many other protestant religious groups, the Shakers fled persecution to see religious toleration in America, first settling in New England and later expanding westward. The Shakers are a utopian, communal society based on principals of celibacy and self sufficiency, who embrace the tenets of equality of labor, gender, and race, as well as communal property, freedom, and pacifism. As the physical and spiritual center of the national Shaker community, which grew to nineteen villages, it was from Mount Lebanon that their beliefs and tenets were instituted and disseminated. The Shakers of Mount Lebanon and elsewhere are perhaps best recognized for their innovative approaches to the design and manufacture of goods based on function and simplicity. This was expressed in the objects that they produced such as buildings, furniture, and other household items. Their innovation and commonsense approach to design and management was also manifested in their village planning, as well as in their noteworthy agricultural and industrial pursuits.
Survey number: HALS NY-7
Building/structure dates: 1787 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1829-1859 Subsequent Work
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 66000511