Beauty and the Beast

cup of coffee

By J-100, Editor at Large


When I was driving a tour bus part-time, one of my trips was to the bluegrass region of central Kentucky to the Shaker Village, near Harrodsburg, KY. As you can tell from the color of the leaves this was in the fall of the year, and I must admit this part of Kentucky is absolutely beautiful.

Harrodsburg, KY

Harrodsburg, KY


The picture is of the main road in the village.

The Shakers, which were an offshoot of the Quaker religion, came to America in the late 1700’s, and reached their peak between: 1830-1850. The village community at Harrodsburg was one of many established in America.

The Shakers built more than twenty settlements that attracted at least 20,000 converts over the next century. Strict believers in celibacy, Shakers acquired their members through conversion, indenturing children, and adoption of orphans.

The Shaker educational system was very advanced. The educational subjects included reading, spelling, oration, arithmetic and manners. The boys would pick them up in several years to reap the benefits. The boys would attend class during the winter and the girls in the summer. Parents outside of the community respected the Shakers’ schooling so much that they often took advantage of schooling that the Shaker villages provided. Parents would drop their child off at the village to be educated, only to return several years later to pick up the children. Those who were not removed from the Shaker community by their parents were not the only ones to leave. Once the child reached twenty-one years of age, they were given the option to remain Shakers. Less than 25 percent of the young adults remained in the community. Turnover was high; the group reached maximum size of about 5,000 full members in 1840, but as of December 2009 had only three members left. They currently reside in Sabbath day Lake, Maine. Only a few of the original Shaker buildings are still in use today.” *

To my way of thinking, the Shakers were good people. They achieved self-sufficiency in very successful communal villages. They invented many useful things, one being the clothes pin. They were hard working, morally good people, but their way of life was doomed from the beginning. They were celibate, and were segregated by sex. The only way they could add to their number, was by people who wanted to join their sect. Their fate was sealed. Somehow, they failed to understand God’s command “… fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it….” Genesis 1:28

As I drove away, I could not help but think of this beautiful place that God created, and what a waste. All that is left is a museum to their heritage. The Beast won that battle.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24


*Source Wikipedia

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