Trustees’ Office & Store exterior
Trustees’ Office & Store interior
Safes, 19th century
There are two safes in the Trustees’ Office, one is hidden in a built-in cupboard, and one is in the “cage.” The Shakers did a great deal of business with the outside “world” and they were very wealthy. The safes provided peace of mind and security for valuables, as they held cash, land deeds and community records.
The Hancock Shakers constructed a building in which to conduct business and receive visitors from the outside “world” as early as 1800. The present structure is a combination of several decades of building, beginning with a structure in 1818 and an addition built in 1852. In 1876 a kitchen ell was built which joined the office to a free-standing woodshed to the east. In 1895 the decision was made by the elders to renovate the office again, this time in the current Victorian style. This was likely done in an effort to more comfortably accommodate visitors and promote commerce for the community and in the gift shop run by the Office Deaconesses.