Brethren’s Shop exterior
Brethren’s Shop interior
Cobbler’s Bench, 19th century – Unknown community
This bench can be found upstairs in the Brethren’s Shop. Each Shaker community had a brother who was a dedicated shoemaker. He would make and repair shoes for his fellow brethren and sisters. This bench was custom-made with a padded seat and a workspace with a cabinet that had small drawers for holding tools and tacks. Overall, it is an efficient workbench that was well-suited for its intended use.
This shop was built circa 1813, and was utilized by the Hancock brothers to make brooms, hats, wool cards, shoes, wooden measures, and tin ware.
The journal of Hancock Elder Grove Wright states that in September of 1845 this shop was painted yellow. Paint analysis undertaken in 2007 identified the color of that time period allowing for restoration during that year. Restoration of the foundation, wood frame, and pent roof was also carried out in 2007 using traditional methods and materials.
Visitors to the Brethren’s Shop will find museum staff and volunteers putting their hands to work making brooms and oval boxes. Beginner’s and Advanced Oval Box classes are among our many Workshops.