Sunday, October 16, 2011

My View: Enfield, NH

Hello friends! I have returned from my teaching trip to Enfield, NH, where I had a marvelous time as the guest teacher for two New England Stitching Retreats. The weather and the scenery were both beautiful for my stay...and I witnessed a complete autumn color change during my visit. When I arrived, most of the trees were still green...but during my ten days in the area, the trees had turned the most amazing shades of orange, red, yellow, green, and brown. I took so many photos, I exhausted the memory card and battery on my camera on several occasions. I have decided to share some of my favorite photos with you over a few postings - today's post will focus on Enfield and the Shaker village where the retreats were held....future posts will give you a look inside, photos during the retreat, and photos of the adventure I took with Nataly on my day off between retreats. I was very inspired by the area and all the colors of fall - it was breathtaking! For those of you who visit my blog strictly for stitching, sewing, and quilting - please be patient while I share about my trip and I will get back to creative projects/photos soon....

Please note: these photos are all part of my personal collection - they are not to be copied, printed, used, or posted on the internet without my written permission. Thank you!

These first photos are of Enfield, New Hampshire and Mascoma Lake. Many of these were taken by climbing an extremely large hill across the street from the Enfield Shaker Museum in the late afternoon hours. There are several panoramic photos...and you can click on any of the images to see larger views. I found the foliage and the reflections in the water to be spectacular!

The next photos are of the Enfield Shaker Museum and Village - my home for the retreats. We stayed in the Enfield Shaker Museum (the Great Stone Dwelling, the largest Shaker dwelling house ever constructed and home to the Museum). The Enfield Shaker site has been cherished for over 200 years - at its peak in the mid 19th century, the community was home to three "Families" of Shakers....they practiced equality of the sexes and races, celibacy, pacifism and communal ownership of property. The Shakers farmed over 3,000 acres of land nestled in the valley between Mt. Assurance and Mascoma Lake, which they referred to as "Chosen Vale". In 1923, after 130 years of farming, manufacturing, and productive existence, declining membership forced the Shakers to close their community and put it up for sale. In 1927, forgoing a much more lucrative offer from a New York syndicate, the Shakers sold the site to the LaSalettes, an order of Catholic priests, ensuring the continued tradition of spiritual, communal life on the site. Between 1930 and 1931, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette constructed the Mary Keane Chapel. In the photo below, you see the Enfield Shaker Museum (the Great Stone Dwelling House) on the right and the Mary Keane Chapel on the left - this photo was taken at dusk with the moon overlooking these historical buildings. Staying inside the Great Stone Dwelling is quite an experience - I will share some additional photographs in a future post...

This photo is of the Stone Mill Building - The Shakers constructed the Stone Mill in 1849 after its predecessor burned down on the same contained three stories of water powered machinery for a variety of trades.

Shown below - The Ministry House - constructed in 1880, it was the last building built by the Enfield Shakers.

Next, a photo of the Dairy and the Laundry. The Dairy, the two-story building, was originally constructed as a one-story building in 1813 - a second story was added in 1825, and an addition was made to the east side of the building later. The Laundry building was originally a two-story structure built in 1813 - in 1833 a large addition was made to the east side and the entire third story was added. This addition contained water-powered machinery, fed with water from the mill pond behind the Stone Mill - the drying room was heated by steam provided by a boiler in the 1854 Cow Barn. The long single story addition to the Dairy was constructed in 1944 by the La Salette Brothers and has had a variety of uses.

The East and West Brethren's Houses are shown below. The East Brethren's Shop was constructed in 1819 (yellow house - shown on the right) and was utilized as a tailors' shop by the Shakers. The West Brethren's Shop constructed in 1820 (white house - shown left) and was used as a woodworking shop by the Shaker Brothers. Currently, the East Brethren's Shop is a private residence and the West Brethren's Shop houses museum exhibits/displays and is open to the public (the is where I took the photo of the brooms - one of my personal favorites).

The next two photos showcase the Shaker Village Gardens. The gardens are maintained by volunteers May through October. The top photos shows an over-all view of the gardens (herb, flower, and vegetable) and the bottom photos shows the colorful trees at one end of the gardens (I thought the colors were lovely and vibrant!)

Finally - here are several photos of the 1854 Cow Barn. This barn is such a photogenic landmark; although now surrounded by modern equipment and machinery, I tried to take photos that highlight the uniqueness of this fabulous barn.

Well, there you have it - my tour of Enfiled, NH in October...I hope you enjoyed this scenic look at the area. Over the next week I will share several more aspects of my teaching trip with you...

I am busy getting caught up on sleep and chores at home after being gone for 10 days (if you are waiting for an email response from me, please be patient, I still have several hundred messages that need a response!). I have quite a list of things to accomplish before heading to Modesto, CA at the end of the month to teach at an Elegant Stitch workshop....but before that trip, I hope to finish model stitching several new designs...


  1. Gorgeous photos! If you ever tire of stitching and designing (Ha!) you could make a living through the lens!

  2. Lovely scenery. Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. Welcome home, Belinda! What fabulous pictures you shared! What a glorious setting for a retreat!


  4. Wow, what gorgeous photos. Thank you for sharing the Shaker Village. Rest up!

  5. That is a beautiful area, have never been up that way. I have gone to Dorr mill store a few times, so next time I will have to go higher.


  6. ooohhh gorgeous photos .. just love the tree one and the brooms are really cute ... well done on all the history of the place too it was wonderful to read all about it :) take care :) love mouse xxxx

  7. What an amazing place to visit! That first photo reminds me so much of a spot near Lake Placid that we used to frequent. I haven't visited in New Hampshire either for many years. It's high time I returned! Your photo of the brooms is a great one!

  8. Enfield is such a beautiful place for a retreat. I hope I can go back for a fall retreat sometime. Thank you for sharing your photos!

  9. Hi, I work at the Enfield Shaker Museum. I love the pictures you took around the area. Would you mind if I used them for museum media? Could you send me files? Just give us a call at 603-632-4346 or e-mail me at Thanks! Hope to see you back next year!