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One of many beautiful structures at Shaker Village in Kentucky. Many visitors to Pleasant Hill, observing the nineteenth-century architecture, crafts, and clothing, mistakenly assume that the Shakers, like the Amish, rejected technological advancements. In fact, the Shakers were inventors or early adopters of many new tools and techniques. For example, in the early 1830s the Shakers of Pleasant Hill constructed a water tower on a high plot of ground. A horse-drawn pump lifted water into the tower, and from there a system of pipes conveyed it to the kitchens, cellars, and wash houses. It is believed to have been the first in the state. In the wash houses, the members built washing machines (also powered by horses) to reduce the heavy work of laundering the community's clothes and linens.
Music was an important part of Shaker life, with the community performing songs, hymns and anthems written by both men and women. One of the best known songs is "Gentle Words", written by Polly M. Rupe in the 1860s. It includes a quote from the Bible
November 8th, 2012
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