Americade 2010 Trip Day 7

June 11




We will travel 300 mile to get to Amsterdam NY


Tour Shaker Village


Main Season 2010
April 3, 2010 - October 31, 2010

Immerse yourself in the Hancock Shaker Village experience with self-guided exploration of historic buildings and grounds. Our season begins with our annual "Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm" celebration, April 3-25. See the Village, visit with our friendly and knowledgeable staff of interpreters and demonstrators. Have an up-close encounter with our many farm animals. Special activities throughout the day.

10:00am - 5:00pm April - mid-October

Adults - $17.00
Youth 13-17 - $8
Children 12 and under - FREE
Hancock Shaker Village Members - FREE


About the Village

Hancock Shaker Village, Inc., is a private, not-for-profit educational organization. Our mission is to bring the Shaker story to life and preserve it for future generations. The Shaker Central Ministry closed the Hancock community in 1960 and sold the buildings and surrounding acreage to a group of Shaker enthusiasts, collectors and scholars who formed the not-for-profit corporation that eventually became Hancock Shaker Village. The museum opened to the public on July 1, 1961.

Over its history, the Village has restored the site and buildings, assembled and cared for the premier Shaker collection, and added innovative educational programs for the public. The Village was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968 and is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Village Amenities and planning your visit

When is the Village open?
The Village is open year round with self-guided tours offered mid –April through mid-October and Guided Tours offered from mid-October to mid-April. To check guided tour days and times call (413)443-0188 or (800)817-1137.

How long should I plan to stay?
It is recommended that you plan 2-3 hours (or more depending on your specific interest) during self-guided tour season; 2 hours during guided tour season.

May I take photographs or videos at the Village?
Photography and videography for personal, private use is allowed. If you wish to take images of the Village for commercial purposes (such as product development, advertising, exhibition, publication), permission is required. Please contact the Director of Marketing in advance.

How much walking is involved?
Although there are 20 buildings in the Village, they are in a compact area. Benches are scattered throughout the Village for those wishing a rest; comfortable shoes are advised.

How will I know what is going on, where and when?
During the Main Season, you will be given a map of the Village and schedule of activities happening that day. The schedule changes slightly from day to day. Our helpful and knowledgeable staff, located in various buildings, can answer questions about the Shakers as well as to help you navigate the Village. There is also a brief orientation video available in the Visitors Center.

How shall I dress for my visit? What if it rains, will I be outside?
The Village is a fun and interesting place to visit, even if it rains. While you will have to walk between buildings, most of what you will see and do is indoors. A rain jacket or umbrella and waterproof shoes are recommended. During the guided tour season you will be spending time in heated and unheated buildings during your tour. The majority of the tour takes place in the heated Brick Dwelling, but we recommend you dress for the elements.

Can I get something to eat at the Village?
The Florence Gould Café is open May through October, serving continental breakfast, lunch and take-out picnics.

Where can I shop?
The Village Store is open daily, year-round, and offers a variety of Shaker reproduction furniture and crafts, books, toys, gifts, food and much more.

Do you have lodging at the Village?
No, but there are a number of lodging options available for you close by. Contact the Berkshire Visitors Bureau at (800) 237-5747 or visit for information or to make a reservation.

Can I get married at the Village?
Hancock Shaker Village is not available for wedding events. Please see for a list of locations that host weddings and other private functions.

Is smoking allowed at the Village?
Smoking is prohibited in the historic area (including the farm and gardens) and buildings, café, museum store and Visitor Center. Smoking is permitted in the courtyard outside the Visitor Center and in the Picnic Area.

Are pets allowed at the Village?
For their safety and the safety of the Village's livestock, pets are not allowed.

Are there any hiking trails?
There is a 6-mile, mild-to-intermediate hiking trail that takes you to the archaeological site of the North family. Please check in at the Ticket Desk for a map.

In 2007, the Village opened a four-season, accessible one-mile trail that winds through acres of fields and woodlands. The trail begins and ends at the famous 1826 Round Stone Barn and loops through natural and cultivated lands connecting historic pastures, fields of heirloom crops, hardwood forest, and an historic Shaker marble quarry. Please consult the Ticket Desk for more information regarding the Farm & Forest Trail.

Are there craft demonstrations at the Village?
Yes. A changing schedule of demonstrations includes broom making, basket and box making, blacksmithing, textile arts, chair seat weaving and woodworking. Crafts demonstrations change daily.

Are there people in costume at the Village?
Most of the staff at the Village is in modern, non-Shaker clothing. When you see someone dressed as a Shaker, they are demonstrating Shaker dress.

History and Information about the Shakers

Who are the Shakers?
The term Shakers is the commonly used name of The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing.

Will I see any Shakers when I visit?
No. The Shakers left their community at Hancock in 1959.

Why are they called Shakers?
The name Shaker was given to this religious group as a derisive term by people outside the faith who had watched the Shakers whirl and tremble to "shake" off sins and evil during their ecstatic worship.

Who was Mother Ann Lee?
She was the founder of the Shaker movement. Ann Lees, later shortened to Lee, was born in England on February 29, 1736, and came to America in 1774 after being persecuted for her religious beliefs.

What are the Shakers' basic tenets?
Celibacy, communal life, and confession of sin are the basic religious tenets of the Shakers. Other important beliefs are separation from the world, equality of the races and genders, and pacifism. Shakers believe that their founder, Mother Ann Lee, embodied the second coming of the Christ spirit as manifested on Earth.

How are the Shakers different from the Amish and the Quakers?
The Shakers, Amish, and Quakers differ theologically and in the way they live. Unlike Shakers and Amish, the Quakers do not live in their own communities. Unlike the Amish and Quakers, the Shakers are celibate and do not marry. Unlike the Amish, the Shakers believe in full gender equality. And while the Amish reject most technology, the Shakers embraced technological advances.

Since the Shakers were celibate, how did they expect to grow?
The Shakers relied on conversion to grow their ranks. The early 19th century was a time of great religious and social upheaval in America. People were questioning traditional religious beliefs and social order, creating fertile ground for the Shakers' progressive thinking. The Shakers also took in orphaned children and raised them. When the orphans reached age 18, the Shakers gave them the option to stay within the community or leave for the outside world.

How widely did Shakerism spread?
Nineteen major Shaker communities spread from New England to Kentucky. At the height of the Shaker movement in the mid-19th century, there were an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 Shakers.

How did the Shakers govern themselves?
Two Elders and two Eldresses made up the Central Ministry, located at Mt. Lebanon, New York. They oversaw the spiritual and temporal needs of all 19 major Shaker communities. Bishoprics, administrative groups consisting of several communities located relatively close to each other, had their own leadership: two Elders and two Eldresses. They divided their time and duties between the communities under their care, and maintained the important connection between the communities and the Central Ministry. Individual Shaker communities generally consisted of two to six smaller communal groups called Families, with two Elders and two Eldresses in charge of the spiritual life of each Family. Temporal leaders on the Family level were Deacons and Deaconesses, who were in charge of the wide variety of crafts, trades and agricultural work pursued by their Family; and Trustees, who were responsible for their Family's communal business affairs and other financial and legal matters.

Did the Shakers pay taxes, vote, or serve in the military?
The Shakers did not try to avoid paying most taxes. They willingly paid the equivalent of local property taxes without seeking exemption as a religious organization. They sometimes objected to taxes that they considered unfair or morally wrong.Abstaining from politics, the Shakers did not vote, campaign, or hold office, except in rare instances.As pacifists, the Shakers sought exemption from military duty. During the Civil War, the great Shaker Elder Frederick Evans approached President Lincoln with a petition for exemption of Shakers from military draft. Lincoln granted the petition, telling Evans, "You ought to be made to fight. We need regiments of just such men as you."

What did the Shakers invent?
The Shakers were inventive people, embracing and often improving upon technology. There are many myths about Shaker inventions. Some are exaggerated truths; others are fiction. Because the Shakers, as a show of humility, often did not patent their inventions and improvements, it is difficult to say how many things they invented.Current scholarship indicates that the Shakers most likely invented the flat broom. They were one of the first to put garden seeds in printed paper packets for sale. They may have invented an early (but perhaps not the first) version of a circular saw. Authentication of many other Shaker inventions or improvements on existing technologies and items is debated and discussed to this day.

Are there still Shakers today?
Yes. A small but active community practices the Shaker religion in Sabbathday Lake, Maine. To learn more about them, visit

Adapted from Introducing the Shakers: An Explanation and Directory by Diana Van Kolken

Susan and Manfred Phemister

Amsterdam Castle LLC

49 Florida Avenue

Amsterdam, NY. 12010

Tel. 518 843 5201

Welcome to Amsterdam Castle


Built in 1894 by the state of New York for the National Guard, Amsterdam Castle is a 36,000 square foot private residence listed on the National Register of Historic Places   New York originally built 100 of these armories, of which nearly 50 are still in use by the National Guard.  Other “sister” armories uses include a military museum (Saratoga), art gallery (Manhattan East Side), and a concert hall (Albany).  This armory was decommissioned in 1995 and is the only armory converted into a home. 


This magnificent building has 50 rooms, including a 10,000 sq ft gymnasium, a rifle range, a fallout shelter and billiard room.   The Phemister family bought the building in 2005 and embarked on an extensive renovation and redecoration that was featured on HGTV’s  ‘ReZoned”.    In addition to returning the building to its lush Victorian decor, the renovation featured environmentally friendly building materials such as low VOC paints and repurposed wood.  The castle has Wi-Fi, cable TV and high speed internet, onsite parking for 40 and ample street parking.    The gymnasium can hold 1000+ (and 500 seated), making us the largest event and reception facility in the county.  The 18” brick walls hold the temperature at a surprisingly ambient level, making it pleasant in summer and heat-effective in winter. 


Located in scenic and historic Amsterdam, NY, the castle is 3 hours from New York City and  30 miles from Albany, capital of New York State, with convenient access to Albany International Airport and Amtrak's Amsterdam Station.  Beautiful Saratoga Springs and Cooperstown, NY are both a convenient 35 minute drive.   Other nearby attractions are the Adirondack Mountains, Saratoga Springs, Howe Caverns, the Great Sacadanga Lake and skiing.  Don’t forget to come check out the gorgeous fall foliage, pick apples, and revel in upstate New York beauty.    We have two guest wings available for bed and breakfast accomodation.    We are as eco-friendly as possible, using green cleaning products and organic, locally grown food for our guest breakfasts. 


This year we’ve hosted a cheerleading camp and a dodge ball tournament, plus fundraisers, corporate board meetings, summer overnight guests and ABC’s Wife Swap.  Historian Nancy Todd wrote a book on New York’s historic armories and we were nominated for a county tourism award. HGTV taped an episode of their show Rezoned.  Independent filmmaker Dawn Westlake wrapped God's Good Pleasure.  Talon Films has filmed 'American General' in the area and in the castle for PBS.   Welcome!


Susan and Manfred Phemister

Welcome to the Super 8 Amsterdam
Super 8 Amsterdam
5502 Rt 30 S
I-90 Exit 27
Amsterdam, NY 12010 US
Phone: 518-843-5888

Reservation Confirmed

Thank you. Your room reservation has been confirmed. A confirmation has also been sent to If you need to cancel, you must do so by 6:00 PM local hotel time on June 11, 2010 or your credit card will be charged for one night's stay.

Confirmation Number


Payment Method
We require a valid credit card to confirm your reservation and guarantee your room. Any required deposit or pre-payment will be charged to this card immediately. Otherwise, your card will not be charged until you check-out.


Guest Information
Room Information
Address: 226 N 5TH ST
BRIGHTON, MI 481161235
Home Phone: 8102273271
Confirmation #: 52026819
Wyndham Rewards Member #: 115042808I
Number of Rooms: 1
Super 8 Senior Aarp Discount
Rate Description: Super 8 Senior Aarp Discount Qualified Rate For Senior Or Aarp Members Thank You For Choosing Super 8
Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel, you must do so by 6:00 PM local hotel time on June 11, 2010 or your credit card will be charged for one night's stay.
1 King Bed Room Super 8 Senior Aarp Discount Rate
Accessible Non Smoking/1 King Bed Wheelchair Accessible For The Physically Challenged
Occupancy: 2 people max
Per Room/Night
1 King Bed Room Non-smoking
Fri. 06/11/10 USD 76.49
1 night (1 Room): USD 76.49
Taxes: USD 9.18
USD 85.67
Fri. June 11 check-in time After 03:00 PM
Sat. June 12 check-out time Before 11:00 AM
Rooms and Guests (per room):
1 Room with 2 Adults, 0 Children (13-17), 0 Children (0-12)

* Rate Information
In addition to the Rates and Totals shown, other charges may apply for local amenities like safe warranties and telephone access.  Local surcharges or service charges are not included in the total room rate.  Local taxes may be additional.  Please note that a change in the length or dates of your reservation may result in a rate change.  Please check with the property for further details.

We require a valid credit card to confirm your reservation and guarantee your room. Any required deposit or pre-payment will be charged to this card in advance of your arrival. Otherwise, your card will not be charged until you check-out.