Latest news

Recent Posts

The Turpin Bannister Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians
Invites you to a program Magnificent Shaker Barns,
By Artist and Historian Robert Braun
Monday, November 30th, 2015
At the University Club, 141 Washington Avenue, Albany NY
Reception at 5:30, program at 6:00 PM. Free and open to the public.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Awww William the Shaker cat is young! ... See MoreSee Less

Nine lives? No way. This cat i...

View on Facebook

2015 Calendar of Events

For workshops and programs requiring pre-registration, please contact the Education Director at (518) 456-7890 x23 or by email at to sign up. All programs will take place at the Shaker Heritage Society unless otherwise noted.

Upcoming Programs and Events

The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries Exhibit

Runs through March 6, 2016 at the New York State Museum

Discover the Shakers as you’ve never seen them before in this large-scale exhibit at the New York State Museum. A collaboration between Shaker Heritage Society, Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, Hancock Shaker Village, and the New York State Museum, Quiet Revolutionaries promises to provide a unique perspective on Shaker history. It explores six major themes: Origins, Spreading the Faith, A Practical Religion, Shaker Made, Shaker Home, and Enduring Design. The 7,000 square foot exhibition will feature hundreds of items from the collections of the three Shaker sites and the state museum, including a cloth fragment thought to be part of Mother Ann Lee’s apron, along with documents, multimedia elements, and related programming from each of the museums.

Christmas Craft Fair

October 31st-December 19th, Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm

Find the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list at our annual Christmas Craft Fair. Dozens of local and regional artisans are represented, offering a wide range of beautiful handmade items, including: jewelry, gourmet chocolate, preserves, ornaments, soup and dip mixes, candles, children’s toys, home decor, stained glass, and more. This is the Society’s biggest fundraiser and not only will your purchases help sustain the museum, but you will also be supporting small local businesses and artists.


Past Events

Museum Opens for the Season

February 3rd, 9:30am

Our operating hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30-4:00 through October. From the end of October through mid-December, operating hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00-4:00 for the Christmas Craft Fair.

All Souls Created Equal

February 28th, 1pm at the New York State Museum

In Shaker communities, men and women shared power and African Americans were embraced as equal brothers and sisters. These Shaker practices created friction between existing “worldly” laws and Shaker beliefs and led to intense legal battles and surprising changes in state laws. Join SHS Executive Director Starlyn D’Angelo as we explore these revolutionary ideas and their evolution within Shaker society and responses from the secular world. This lecture will be held at the New York State Museum.

Seeds of Growth Kids’ Program at the New York State Museum

April 8th, 1pm
Free (Limited seating for this program)

When it’s time to plant your garden, you might go to your local hardware or garden store to buy a few paper packages of seeds. Have you ever wondered why they were sold in these little packets? By the 1790s, the Shakers had begun selling their seeds in paper envelopes, creating what would become one of the most successful industries for the Watervliet community. Learn about the seed business, advertising, and farming practices used by the Watervliet Shakers before designing and creating a seed packet of your own!

Historic Building Photography Workshop with Diana Petrillo

April 18th, 1-3pm
$20 per person

Learn how to take beautiful and interesting photographs of historic buildings in this 2-hour workshop led by local artist and amateur photographer Diana Petrillo. Join Diana as she leads you around the site of America’s first Shaker settlement, where 9 historic buildings still stand, and learn proper techniques and tips for capturing the art and character of 19th and 20th century buildings. Participants are encouraged to bring their cameras. This program will begin in the 1848 Meeting House and include access to the interior of 1915 Barn (not open to the general public). Pre-registration with payment is required by April 9th. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today! Visit Diana’s blog at

Am I On? Tell Us Your Albany Story

April 19th, 2pm

Partners for Albany Stories (PASt) invites you to share stories that relate to the history of Albany. Storytellers sign up on a first-come, first-tell basis one hour prior to the event and have 10 minutes at the microphone to enchant and enlighten the audience. Stories will be video documented for preservation at the Albany Public Library. Interested but not sure what to talk about? Click here for story suggestions. Interested, know what you want to talk about, but want help telling your story? Come to a free coaching session one hour before each event. Interested, but don’t want to tell a story? Come and listen. For more information, please email You can also find PASt on Facebook at

This project is sponsored by Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. Funding is provided through the Community Projects Fund, created by 1996 amendments to the State Finance Law.

Scheduled story-telling events:

March 26, 6pm, Albany Institute of History and Art
March 29, 2pm, Historic Cherry Hill’s Edward Frisbee Center for Collections and Research
March 31, 6pm, Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site
April 7, 6pm, Ten Broeck Mansion
April 19, 2pm, Shaker Heritage Society
April 30, 6pm, Van Ostrande-Radliff House, Historic Albany Foundation
May 4, 5pm, Main Branch, Albany Public Library, Pruyn Collection Room
May 17, 4pm, Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence

The Shakers and the Rise of Religious Thinking in America
Special Guest Speaker Vernon Benjamin

April 24th, 7pm
$5 suggested donation

Antebellum America was in essence a continuation of the revolution begun in 1776, with explosions in transportation, commerce, culture, politics, and, yes, religion following as dramatically as the American Revolution itself. In religion, Timothy Dwight started the Second Great Awakening, in which the evangelical impulse emerged in the rise of Methodism and the work of Charles Grandison Finney. The Shakers were the precursors of this movement, a kind of institutional John-the-Baptist that ushered in a new way of thinking about religion and man’s relationship to God. A surprising range of aspects of this new thinking began and flowered here, in the Hudson River Valley.

Vernon Benjamin is the author of The History of the Hudson River Valley: From Wilderness to Civil War (Overlook Press, June 2014). He has lectured on the history of the Hudson Valley at Marist College and Bard College since 2003. A former editor of the New Saugerties Times, he has written extensively on the Hudson River Valley for various publications and has appeared on C-SPAN. He lives in Saugerties, NY.

Shaker Cheese Basket Workshop with Sandy Salada

May 2nd, 10am-3pm
$30 per person, plus $7 materials fee

Learn to create a three directional weave basket in the Shaker tradition. This style was originally used for curing cheese. Today’s basket works wonderfully for holding bread, muffins, or rolls and looks great hanging on a wall when not in use. This workshop is appropriate for ages 14 and up, no experience necessary. This is a 5-hour workshop. If you are unable to finish your basket, you may schedule additional class time with Sandy for a fee. Pre-registration with payment required by April 24th. Space is limited.

Guided Nature Walk at Ann Lee Pond

May 2nd, 11am
$5 suggested donation

Join us on a glorious spring morning for a walk around the Ann Lee Pond and Nature Preserve. Observe beautiful indigenous plants as they begin to wake from winter slumber and welcome the warm season with the resident wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the lovely views. The trail is mostly flat but there are roots and branches that may hinder some walkers. Please bring bug spray and plan to perform a tick check after the walk. This program may be canceled due to inclement weather. Please call or email to sign up.

Albany History Fair

May 3rd, 1-4pm at Historic Cherry Hill (523 S. Pearl St. Albany)

Join us and other Albany historic sites and community organizations as we celebrate and explore the city’s rich history of brewing and distilling. Education Director Samantha Saladino will give a presentation on the Shakers and their changing attitudes toward alcohol from the 18th-20th centuries. More details to follow. Please visit for more info.

Heaven on Earth: Architecture Tour

May 13th, 6pm
$5 suggested donation

Among other things, the Shakers were known for their planned communities and simple, yet beautiful, architecture. They strove to create a “heaven on earth,” constructing a physical example of some of their deep-seated values – simplicity, uniformity, perfection. As a result, a distinctly “Shaker style” emerged. Explore Shaker building practices and the evolution of the Watervliet community on this guided walking tour, which includes access to three buildings generally closed to the public. Please call or email to sign up.

Open House & Barn Centennial Celebration

May 20th, 4:30-6:30pm

On this date 100 years ago, the Shakers raised the new Church Family barn and celebrated with a big dinner and even cigars! Join us for a special open house to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this beautiful and historically significant barn. Light refreshments will be served and information about volunteer opportunities at the Society will be available.

Shaker Country Picnic

June 13th, 3-7pm

Help us celebrate the barn centennial at the Shaker Country Picnic! Live music, featuring a performance by the Graham Tichy Band from 4-6pm, great food from Sweet Mama Mia Food Truck (available for purchase), games, and other fun family activities will take place on the grounds of the Society. More information to follow.

Shaker Herb Garden Painting Class with Diana Petrillo

June 27th, 1-3pm
$25 per person plus a $5 materials fee

Create a unique work of art inspired by the lush and bountiful heritage herb garden at the Society. Join local artist Diana Petrillo on the grounds for an afternoon of painting, as she guides you through technique and shares tips for capturing nature on canvas. This is a 2-hour long workshop. Pre-registration with payment is required by June 19th. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot today! Visit Diana’s blog at

Annual Meeting

June 28th, 2-4pm

Join us for our annual meeting at the 1848 Meeting House. New members of the board will be inducted. More information to follow. Please RSVP to Starlyn at (518) 456-7890 x22 or by June 24th.

Shaker Craft Fair

July 11th and 12th, 10am-4pm
$4 per person or $3 with this ad; SHS members, veterans and active military, and under 18 admitted free

Find the perfect item for your home or a gift for a friend at the Shaker Craft Fair. Explore the booths of dozens of local and regional artisans on the beautiful grounds of the Shaker Heritage Society. A Family Activity Tent will host fun hands-on activities for all ages throughout the weekend. Members of the Abenaki First Nation will offer traditional craft activities, displays, and music. Site tours are offered both days at 11:30 and 1:30. Fair food and pie will be available for purchase. Print the coupon below or show it on your smartphone to receive $1 off admission.

Shaker Barnstorming Weekends!

Visit the three Shaker Historic Sites in the Capital Region/Berkshires to learn about iconic Shaker barns architecture and Shaker agricultural innovations. These tours are part of on-going collaborative programming related to the exhibition, “The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries” now on view at the New York State Museum.

Each tour takes place at 2pm at the location and date indicated. Reservations must be made at each separate site and prices vary based on location. Space is limited, so be sure to pre-register early! For more information about collaborative Shaker programming, please click here.

Mount Lebanon’s Great Stone Barn: July 31st and August 7th, 2pm, $10 per person (Contact Wyatt Erchak at 518-794-9100 x220 or to register.)

Shaker Heritage Society’s 1915 Church Family Barn: August 1st and 8th, 2pm, $10 per person (Contact Samantha Hall-Saladino at 518-456-7890 x23 or to register.)

Hancock Shaker Village’s Iconic Round Stone Barn: August 2nd and 9th, 2pm, free with regular admission ticket: $20 for adults, $8 for youths 13-17, and free for children under 12 (Contact Maribeth Cellana at 413-443-0188 x100 or

Shaker Great Barns, 1820s-1880s with Special Guest Speaker Lauren Stiles

August 16th, 2pm
$5 suggested donation

Lauren A. Stiles is an independent scholar who has written on Shaker agriculture concentrating on the remarkable multi-level dairy barns built by the Shakers from Maine through western New York during the middle years of the 19th century. His book – Shaker “Great Barns” 1820s-1880s – includes numerous architectural drawings and photographs illustrating these unique structures. Described with praise in contemporary farm publications these barns became models for advanced modern agriculture. Two of the best documented barns were built at Watervliet in 1873. Stiles is a graduate of LeMoyne College with graduate degrees from Columbia and Brown Universities. He is a former librarian retired after a thirty-year career as Head of Reference at SUNY Cortland Memorial Library. This program is co-sponsored by the Turpin Bannister Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.

CANCELLED Paranormal Investigation with Tri-City Paranormal Society

August 21st, 8-11pm
$25 per person

The Shakers were spiritualists who believed in communication with the spirit world. Tri-City Paranormal Society returns for another special event where YOU can investigate historic Shaker buildings for possible paranormal phenomena. Due to unforeseen circumstances out of our control, this event has been cancelled. If you purchased tickets, please call (518) 456-7890 x23 to receive a refund. Thank you.

Shaker Craft Fair

September 12th and 13th, 10am-4pm
$4 per person or $3 with this ad; SHS members, veterans and active military, and under 18 admitted free

Find the perfect item for your home or a gift for a friend at the Shaker Craft Fair. Explore the booths of dozens of local and regional artisans on the beautiful grounds of the Shaker Heritage Society. A Family Activity Tent will host fun hands-on activities for all ages throughout the weekend. Members of the Abenaki First Nation will offer traditional craft activities, displays, and music. Site tours are offered both days at 11:30 and 1:30. Fair food and pie will be available for purchase.

An Evening of Wine and Music

September 25th, 5:30-7:30pm
$50 a person
$20 for students with school ID

Join us for a special fundraising event. Enjoy a lovely evening with wine and a light buffet in the 1848 Meeting House. Albany Pro Musica will perform an intimate concert. All proceeds benefit the preservation and education initiatives of the Society. Please call (518) 456-7890 x22 or email to purchase tickets.

Plaid Market Basket Workshop

October 3rd, 10:00-3:00
$30 per person plus $30 materials fee

This basket has an open bottom woven in natural, smoked and your color choice. Please choose navy, black, dark green, red or burgundy at time of registration. Optional wrapped handle if time permits. This is a 5-hour workshop; those who do not complete their baskets within the time frame may schedule more class time with Sandy at a later date for an additional cost. Pre-registration with payment is required by September 28th. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot today!

Twilight Shaker Cemetery Tour

October 17th, 5pm
$5 suggested donation

Discover the stories of past Shakers on this special twilight tour of the Shaker cemetery. There are 445 Shakers buried here – get to know a handful of them a little better as we walk through the headstones. It is suggested, but not mandatory, that participants bring a flashlight with them. The tour will begin at the 1848 Meeting House. Please call (518) 456-7890 x23 or email to sign up.