The rehabilitation of the Herb House fulfills Shaker dreams that were cut-short by Brother Ted’s untimely death in 1986 and Sister Mildred’s passing in 1990. They envisioned the Herb House as a type of cultural center that welcomed a community of Shaker enthusiasts engaged in shared work and shared learning alongside of the Shakers themselves.
The Herb House will achieve this vision and it will deliver new gateway experiences for audiences of all types and ages. It marks the first in a series of projects designed to sustain Shaker Village in new, mutually-beneficial relationships with the people of Maine through social enterprise, local community alliances, and programmatic growth.
The Herb House is the first in a series of large-scale preservation projects that are coupled with programming aimed at delivering low-cost, high-value experiences. Repeat, ongoing, year-round engagement and learning are the leading themes and goals.
A roadside farmers’ market and café on the brow of the south hayfield will promote the Shaker farm, local producers, and farm-to-table programming.
More than 1200 acres of Shaker property will open for the first time with outdoor recreational trails and a 500-acre wildlife refuge centered around the Shaker bog.
A fully accessible, year-round welcome center near the Shaker Store in a reconstruction of the original 1795 Trustees’ Office will become the centerpiece of gateway educational orientation to the Shakers, their property, and their experiential programs.