06.30.24: Shaker hat on peg

Hat and pegs, Centre Family Dwelling, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Ky.

There are a small number of Shaker villages still in existence in the United States, each serving as an example of the interesting Shaker architecture and lifestyle.

Hat and pegs, Centre Family Dwelling, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Ky.

Simple scene echoes Shaker architecture

One of the things I like about photography as a hobby: I never know what will catch my eye and make me spend time photographing it.

For example, when my wife and I were walking in Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, southwest of Lexington, Ky., a number of years ago I never could have guessed I would be spending time intrigued by a straw hat hanging on a white wall.  But it happened.

We were walking through the village’s Centre Family Dwelling, admiring the simple, balanced Shaker architecture, when I glanced into one of the rooms.  On one wall were a row of Shaker chairs hanging from the peg rail, just as we had seen in other rooms in the village. The Shakers’ practice of having chairs hanging on the wall when not in use created floor space in the rooms and eliminated clutter.

But when I looked at the other wall, the peg rail was empty except for one hand-made Shaker straw hat hanging from a peg. The more I looked at the scene, the more I liked it. The single hat hanging between two empty pegs on a white wall created a sense of balance and simplicity, just like the Shaker architecture we had seen in the numerous buildings in the village.

So I took a photo.

And, yes, other people in the room gave me odd looks while I photographed a hat on the wall. But I’m used to that. I’m a photographer.

There are a small number of Shaker villages still in existence in the United States, each serving as an example of the interesting Shaker architecture and lifestyle.

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.

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

Tech specs

  • Date/time: Jun 13, 2008 11:27 AM   
  • Camera: Canon EOS 40D
  • Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM 
  • Focal length: 38mm
  • Aperture: f/4
  • Shutter: 1/60 second
  • ISO: 200

Purchase photos

Photographs and text: Copyright - Pat D. Hemlepp. All rights reserved. Photographs may not be used without permission.

Attorneys affiliated with ImageRights International pursue copyright infringement claims on my behalf.