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Tours at the Village. Photo by Ellen Friedlander

Located on a country road in rural Canterbury just 20 minutes outside New Hampshire’s state capital in Concord, Canterbury Shaker Village ( the Village) sits on nearly 700 acres, delighting visitors from across the world.

“Our campus is expansive, providing visitors with the chance to experience nature on groomed trails just minutes outside of fairly urban settings,” noted Education Manager Kyle Sandler. “These trails are free and open to the public.”

Founded in 1969 as a nonprofit, the Village has developed an international reputation as one of the oldest, most representative, and best preserved of all the Shaker villages. During its 200-year history, more than 2,000 Shakers called the Village home.

“At its height in the 1850s, 300 people lived, worked, and worshiped among more than 100 buildings laid out in a practical, functional grid,” added Sandler.

The Shakers’ way of life, according to Shirley Wajda, Ph.D., Curator of Collections, offers relevant lessons for today’s visitors.

“The Shakers embraced the values of gender and racial equity, pacifism, simplicity, innovation, resourcefulness, and enterprise,” she said. “Their values and ability to thrive as a self-sufficient community for 200 years offers insight into how we may live better today.”

In talking about their membership in the New Hampshire Heritage Trail, Sandler said he hopes Canterbury Shaker Village inspires visitors to explore other member institutions.

“The Trail is an amazing asset for the state,” he said. “Each member museum works hard to not only preserve history but also to actively interpret and present it to people of all ages and interests.”