QV2016: Day 5: Lowell, MA and Canterbury Shaker Village, NH

24 10 2016

We got on the road this morning, leaving behind the luxurious ‘The Langham’ in Boston, which had been our home for the previous four nights.

First stop was Lowell, MA, just up the road a bit from Boston. We were there for a special tour of the New England Quilt Museum by the curator. The special exhibition featured at the moment is a selection of red and green applique quilts from the 1840s to 1870s or thereabouts. These are held in a private collection of some 2000 quilts, and were amazing in their colours and their workmanship. Most, if not all of them, were hand quilted and likely stitched in poor light conditions (candle light). I’ve only shown a few here; you can see the rest in this Flickr album — scroll to the end of page 1, then move on to page 2: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157674088359351

After some 90 minutes or so at the NEQM, we moved on to New Hampshire and the Canterbury Shaker Village. The weather was sunny, but the wind was bitingly cold. Perfect for taking photos, but not so good if you were out in it without adequate protection! The Shaker Village tour (75 mins) was really interesting. I knew a little about the Shakers, but learnt so much more (celibacy and the relinquishing of all personal property were their two big things). We visited the Meeting House, the Laundry, and the chapel in the main Dwelling House, and the lovely Kia told their stories and answered our questions. The Canterbury Shaker Village was handed over to a non-profit organisation back in the late 1960s as their population dwindled and died out (the last one in this village died in 1996 aged 93; today, only three Shakers survive). Interestingly, unlike the Amish and similar groups, the Shakers embraced technology that made their lives easier and invented many labour-saving devices. The Laundry was a great example of that. (See https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/albums/72157674088359351/page3  for more pictures)

Our final destination today was Meredith, NH, by the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.