Home » Uncategorized » Hancock Shaker Village School, Pittsfield MA

Hancock Shaker Village School, Pittsfield MA

Hancock Shaker Village School

1843 West Housatonic St.

Pittsfield MA, 01201


Hancock Shaker Village is a former Shaker village in Hancock, Massachusetts that was established in 1791. It was the third of nineteen major Shaker villages established between 1783 and 1836 in New York, New England, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana under the leadership of “Mother” Ann Lee and later Joseph Meacham and Lucy Wright.  Though the early Shakers rejected formal schooling, by the early nineteenth century the northeastern Shaker communities had organized schools. The Hancock Shaker school district was formally established on March 2, 1820. It served as a school for children in the Shaker settlement and later as a public school. Shaker schools were highly regarded for quality and exacting standards. By 1934 the original school house had been sold, removed from its site, and converted to a private home. It still stands on Route 41, just east of the Hancock Shaker Village museum campus. The village was closed by the Shakers in 1960, and sold to a local group, who now operate the property as a museum. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1968.  The current schoolhouse is a 1976 replica based on measured drawings of the original extant structure.  The exhibits in this building are hands-on and demonstrate many of the educational practices of the last 150 years.




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