We chose this movement because of its relevance to the Berkshire Area and its separatist nature. The Shakers were self-functioning community with the ability to farm, the use of the 1826 Round Stone Barn to cultivate a thriving dairy industry and the creation of items for trade with outside communities. Living in a semi-communist style government in which the concept of families was largely seen as a more formal term and the Hancock village shared its successes collectively throughout the community. The separatist nature of the Shaker communities lies in the nature of their religious views and ideas of worship. This topic would be interesting to explore the driving forces of religion in separatist communities and the economic prosperity they enjoyed. Throughout this research, we hope to investigate how the Shakers were able to maintain their communities for so long, often described as one of the most successful separatists groups in America, before their eventual downfall as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
The first group would be interested in the website purely as a new source for information about the topic they are already interested. This is the standard group who would be most likely to view the website as they are the most likely to have the website appear in their searches. This is the group who is interested in exploring the separatist nature behind the Shakers and looking at them from another angle besides the “interesting: religious. The second group would be a new target audience that is now developing in the Berkshires with the recent revival of historical landmarks and new outlets to access information. There have been many recent grants to create new ways for visiting tourists and locals to access the information about the past such as a website that is going to be a road map to pin point all of the historical sites in the region and offer pictures and local history about them. The History Harvest Festival in November is another example of the projects occurring, as it is dedicated to gathering historical artifacts and stories from the locals to preserve and share. The audience who is interested in visiting the region and reading up on the rich documented history and perhaps then getting really into the history of the subject and learning about the separatist nature of the community that is a huge part of the Berkshire Area.
To learn more about the creators of the project, our support, sources and photographs, please click through the About Pages!