12:17pm

Sun November 27, 2011
The Commonwealth

Restoring Shakertown: Hard Work but Well Worth it

"'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free." Even people who know little about the Shakers are probably familiar with the words of Simple Gifts, the opening lines of the religious movement's most famous hymn. Fifty years ago, an enterprising and determined group of Kentuckians, many in Lexington, set out to save Shakertown, the Mercer County village founded more than 200 years ago by a group of Shakers in search of an earthly utopia. But the restoration was a project that proved to be anything but simple or free.