Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On Location - Canterbury Shaker Village, New Hampshire...

Canterbury Shaker Village - One View
   After spending 3 days at the Pleasant Hill, Kentucky Shaker village I was quite excited about re-visiting the one in Canterbury, New Hampshire just an hour and 45 minutes from my house in Maine.  I had visited it last in the late 1970's and spent time talking with a Shaker sister, Sister Bertha.

    There were only two sisters still at Canterbury by then and most of the buildings were closed and things were looking a bit shabby.  A few were open to visitors but it was my time with Sister Bertha that meant the most to me.  They had decided to close the society and after the few remaining sisters in the Sabbathday Lake, Maine village died, the Shakers would slip into oblivion.  I asked Sister Bertha what she wished people would remember about the society and I still recall her reply.  "Well dear," she answered, "I hope people don't just remember me as a chair!" 

   When I arrived last week, I was amazed to see two new buildings.  One a re-creation of the 19th century horse barn that now serves as a restaurant and another which housed a lovely new visitor's center and gift shop.  The building that I sat and talked with Sister Bertha in was closed but many more of the buildings were now open to the public and clearly restoration work was in full swing.  I enjoyed a stroll through the village.  Interpreters guided people around clearly being sure that the Shakers would be remembered as much more that just chairs.  I think Sister Bertha would be proud.

   I made one interior study and then found out that photographing inside the buildings was prohibited, unlike Pleasant Hill.  A bit of a disappointment because I saw so many images that I would have love to photograph but one must mind one's manners when you visit places and so I was content with this one simple image to add to my Simplicity and Light folio.

   Rather than worry about this restriction, I went in search of exterior views that would be thought provoking.  This was clearly meant to be a lesson in "expectations".  One that is important to remember when you are on location.  I received the images I needed.  I'll tell you about one of those images tomorrow...

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