01.06.19: Bundled broomcorn

Bundled broomcorn in a window, East Family Brethren's Shop, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Ky.


Technical information

June 13, 2008,
9:34 a.m.

37°49'8.669" N 84°44'22.919" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EF 28-135 (33mm) 


1/320th second


A few years ago we spent a couple of nights at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Ky. The village, near Harrodsburg, Ky., is the site of a Shaker religious community that was active from 1805 to 1910. Many of the structures in the village have been restored and are now used as an inn for lodging.

The site, a National Historic Landmark, features unique Shaker architecture.

Every structure in the village provides a lesson in history and architectural ingenuity as well as an opportunity for photo hobbyists to capture interesting images.

There’s a lot of activity in the village. Local craftsmen and women, dressed in clothing suitable for the period and using tools available in the 19th century, create furniture and other items while visitors watch. The items are sold in the shop at Shaker Village, with proceeds from sales used to help sustain the historic village.

I spent much of our time at the village photographing examples of the balanced design in Shaker architecture that includes separate, identical, side-by-side doors and staircases — one for men, one for women. 

But I also encountered some scenes that caught my eye, like this photo of bundled broomcorn resting inside a window of the East Family Brethren’s Shop. I liked how the morning sun illuminated the broomcorn through the window and how the strict verticals and horizontals of the window frame contrasted with the loose spiral of the bundled broomcorn. So I grabbed a shot and moved on.

It’s been 10 years since we visited Shaker Village. I hope to find time on a future trip to Central Kentucky to visit the village again, this time spending time photographing the people and their work.

The website for Shaker Village that includes information for visitors is http://www.shakervillageky.org.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.