There was a community of believers known as Shakers worshipping, working, and living together in Shirley from 1793 – 1908. Shakers were known for their strong faith, the high quality of their seeds and the fine workmanship on their buildings and crafts. They were appreciated for their kindness and generosity to all, regardless of age, color, or background.
The State of Massachusetts now owns the former Shirley Shaker property and several of the old Shaker buildings are used by the Department of Corrections.
The Shirley Historical Society is periodically allowed to take visitors on tours of the site and to teach people about Shaker life and the Shirley community. This fall, the tours will be held on Sundays October 3, 10, and 24 at 12:30 pm
The two-hour tour begins with a brief illustrated lecture on the history of the Shakers and the Shirley Village. Visitors then go inside three Shaker buildings and travel by prison van to various locations around the property.
Reservations must be made in advance for a cost of $15.00 per person, or $10 for Historical Society members. Pay by cash or check, in person at the Museum at 182 Center Road in Shirley or mail a check to PO Box 217, Shirley, MA 01464 or charge it by PayPal on www.shirleyhistory.org.
Additional tours may be arranged for groups of eight or more.