Blanket chest, c. 1820
Mount Lebanon, New York
Storage chests such as this one could be found throughout 19th century New England. The Shakers refined the design to the simplest lines and features. This blanket chest is located in a room that was used by visiting Ministry (leaders) so that they could store their belongings during their stay.
The first Hancock Meetinghouse was built by the Shakers in 1786 according to a design by a brother named Moses Johnson from the Enfield, New Hampshire Shaker community. The Meetinghouse had a gambrel roof which was then changed to a gable roof in 1871. The Shakers dismantled the Meetinghouse in 1938 when the community was in decline and such a large building was no longer required for meetings. The first floor was left open for worship services, with built-in benches for visitors. The second floor housed the Ministry’s living quarters.
The current Meetinghouse at Hancock Shaker Village was built in 1793 and was originally located at the Shirley, Massachusetts Shaker community. It was moved to Hancock in 1962 and re-erected on the foundations of the previous Meetinghouse. After extensive paint analysis in 2005, the original Prussian blue color was identified and applied to the interior woodwork.