Dozens of beautiful photos, both vintage and contemporary, draw us into the fascinating world of Shaker communities' accomplishments, their progressive views, and their still-resonating impact on American life. This book focuses specifically on two Shaker villages, Hancock and Mount Lebanon, which were close neighbors situated on either side of the Taconic mountain range bordering New York and Massachusetts. Mount Lebanon was the vibrant voice of Shakerism for over 160 years while Hancock lived in the shadows of its larger sister. Explaining the beliefs that grounded these villages, this book unfolds the Shaker legacies we live with today, involving Shakers' spiritual beliefs, their social welfare structures, their wide-ranging industries from seeds to herbal medicines to furniture to fancy goods, and their building of villages and of lives with a sense of purpose and permanency.
Joseph R. Votano is a freelance photographer who lives in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. He has extensively photographed New England's architecture, people, and places over the years. His published works include several European photo-travelogues and a photo book on Boston.