If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

Inspirations for Home Design

 

Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill

‘Tis a Gift to be Simple *

© Becky Linhardt 2011

“Strange events! Who ever would have thought that this secluded and sacred spot of truly Pleasant Hill, would ever have been surrounded by embattled legions, within hearing distance, in almost every direction from this central point; and warring hosts traversing our streets and premises …” East Family Journal, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, October 12, 1862

Life is peaceful again at Pleasant Hill.  The Civil War took its toll on the prosperity and religious passion that had thrived in the Shaker community during the early part of the 19th century but the aura of their spirituality prevails even today. 

The restored buildings at Pleasant Hill are open to the public.  Costumed guides and skilled craftsman welcome visitors during the day to see a bit of the life and enterprises of this respected group of agriculturalists who marketed seeds, furniture, stoves and more throughout the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys during the first half of the 19th century.

 Many visitors think of Shaker Village as a day trip, a place to visit while in the Lexington or Bardstown areas. Overnight accommodations are available and, in my mind, the best Shaker Village experiences happen when the “day-trippers” have gone. 

Sure, arrive early enough to watch the crafts people, visit the agricultural buildings to see more traditional breeds of farm animals, and hear the tales of Shaker life and the history of disturbances as Union and Confederate troops traveled the “1833 Turnpike” during the Civil War. Then dine at the Trustee’s Dining Room, stay overnight, and enjoy a hearty breakfast to experience the rural quiet of years gone by.

Known for their simple life style, celibacy, and inventiveness, the Shakers sought heaven on earth in communal work and individual pleasure in their relationship with their God.  They ate foods seasoned for flavor – fresh from their gardens or “put by” for winter.  Produce from today’s village gardens makes it way to their kitchens and a few times a year there are special “Garden-side Supper” events with foods fresh from the garden to the tables set up there.

Walking in the village at sunset is romantic as is dinner with candles on the table and candle-like fixtures on the walls similar to those that light the hallways and guest rooms throughout Shaker Village.  Oh, the stars on a clear night – since there are no towns nearby, the dark sky experience can be amazing.  Guest rooms are huge and furnished in the Shaker style – simple and comfortable.

Waking early to take photographs is inspiring. Guests at the Trustee’s House awaken to the aroma of frying bacon as well as good strong coffee. For those who stay in the Family Dwellings, the pleasure of walking down the tree-lined street to the Trustee’s House in the early morning makes breakfast even more rewarding.

 A multiple day stay is recommended. There are hiking trails throughout the property. From Shaker Village you can day-trip into nearby Danville’s Constitution Square, visit the Perrysville Battlefield site and Museum, head to Bardstown for Bourbon, or to Harrodsburg to see Old Fort Harrod State Park.

 The equine offerings may be the most unusual feature at Shaker Village.  There are both trails AND stables available for those who want to include their horses in their adventure.

 Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, 3501 Lexington Road, Harrodsburg, KY 40330

800-734-5611 or www.shakervillageky.org

* DESIGN INSPIRATION

It may be that the almost 10 foot tall ceilings and spacious windows make the plain white walls dance with light. No paintings on the walls, simple woodwork painted gray, wood floors worn smooth – the simplicity is inspiring. 

Sure, the de-clutter impulse is strong while visiting but it may be that because there are so few items, and the craftsmanship is so good, that the inspiration is to highlight a few best things in your home and store some items to rotate to places of honor. Here at the bottom of a staircase a plain white bowl of fresh lemons is dramatic in the early morning sun. Seasonal changes rekindle memories and remind the you, your family, and guests of the rhythms of life.

NOTE: The Gift Shop has a large selection of beautifully crafted, Kentucky made textiles, wooden kitchen utensils and other decorative items for your home

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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