Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
Discover the Spirit of the Kentucky Shakers
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a landmark destination that shares 3,000 acres of discovery in the spirit of the Kentucky Shakers. With 34 original Shaker structures, the site is home to the country’s largest private collection of original 19th century buildings and is the largest National Historic Landmark in Kentucky. The nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization relies on revenue generated by visiting guests and funding from public sources, private donations and endowment income.
Over the last year, Shaker Village has opened its doors to unprecedented change, fostering a new business model that balances the site’s heritage with contemporary principles to bridge the past to the future. Demonstrating a commitment to community, sustainability and ingenuity, the model embraces three pillars rooted in time-honored Shaker legacies, including balanced preservation and conservation; engaged learning and exploration; and warm, spirited hospitality.
Balanced Preservation + Conservation
For centuries, the site has inspired, comforted and been sanctuary to many people, plants and animals. Each of Shaker Village’s 34 historic structures was built with materials that were readily available from Shaker lands—quarried limestone, kiln-fired clay bricks and hand-planed old growth timbers. The buildings are surrounded by 3,000 acres of conserved farmland, native prairies, forests and wetlands, establishing a mixed-use nature preserve and protecting the original view shed that contextualizes the historic buildings.
This relationship between the built environment and the landscape creates an undeniable sense of wonder along the rock fence-lined roads, across the rising hills and through the hallways of the imposing buildings. They perfectly coexist and cannot be separated.
Engaged Learning + Exploration
Shaker Village has transitioned its programming from a demonstration-based interpretation of Shaker history into an active experience of exploration. New storytelling methods and learning models share a more complete story of the site’s 220-year history and a holistic perspective of the inventive, progressive Shaker community that called this place home.
The Historic Centre, The Farm and The Preserve provide jumping-off points for learning by offering compelling ways to connect. New programs and events encourage engaged participation for the mind, body and spirit, while building strong bonds to the past, the land and our communities.
Warm, Spirited Hospitality
Shaker Village has been a warm beacon of hospitality for more than 200 years. Shaker hospitality was well known throughout the region, and the original 1960s restoration plan directed the adaptive reuse of historic spaces with attention to creating comfortable places for people to gather. The establishment of hotel, dining, retail and meeting spaces continues to provide diversified revenue channels to support the organization’s great financial needs.
The Shakers wasted nothing, and today we seek to follow in their footsteps by establishing sound, environmentally friendly organizational practices. Shaker Village is committed to sustainable agricultural practices, sound ecological land management and public environmental education.
Ongoing sustainability initiatives include:
- Agricultural and environmental education programs
- Solid waste management planning throughout all Shaker Village departments
- Low-waste event management through recycling, composting and reforestation programs
- Energy consumption and water usage audits
- Transition to geothermal heating and cooling
- Best practices staff training
- Native prairie conversion project
- Native tree planting program and arboretum
- Organic farming practices
- Farm composting project
Support Shaker Village
By giving to Shaker Village, you inspire generations through the legacies of the Kentucky Shakers, while demonstrating a commitment to community, sustainability and ingenuity.