North Union Shaker Site
North Union Shaker Site
Horseshoe Lake at North Union Shaker Historic Site
|Nearest city||Shaker Heights, Ohio|
|Area||146 acres (59 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||74001446|
|Added to NRHP||August 13, 1974|
North Union Shaker Site is a historic site in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The site was founded by Shakers in 1822 and was added to the National Register in 1974. The Shakers ran grist and grain mills from the lakes created when they dammed Doan Creek. The community ceased to exist in 1899. All of the buildings that had been part of the North Union Shaker community have been demolished, and 280 of the original 1,000 acres are Shaker Lakes parkland, which includes walking trails and a Shaker archaeological site, the Shaker Historical Museum and Library.
In 1826, the group dammed Doan Brook, thus creating the Lower Lake and establishing a gristmill and a sawmill. Later, in 1854, the community built a second dam creating the Upper Lake, and constructed another mill. Also called 'The Valley of God's Pleasure', the colony peaked around 1850 with about 300 settlers. The Mill family was established about 1826 to run the mills, which produced lumber and milled grain. The Gathering Family was established in the community.
As the Shakers practiced celibacy, the colony faded away and was closed in 1889. In 1905, the land was bought by brothers M.J. and O.P. Van Sweringen who envisioned the first garden styled suburb in Ohio for the site. The brothers constructed homes, set aside land for churches and schools, and planted trees.
There were approximately 200 Shaker songs, hymns and anthems composed at North Union. One of them was written in tribute to the Shaker leader, Ann Lee, on her arrival in New York City in 1774. It is titled, "On the Landing of Mother Ann in America."
None of the buildings from the North Union Shaker community remain.
Park and Shaker Historical Museum
Of the land that had been owned by the Shakers was donated to the City of Cleveland is the Shaker Lakes Parklands. The park includes lakes created by the Shakers, walking trails, the Shaker Historical Museum, and an archaeological site where the Shakers houses had been demolished.
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "North Union Shaker Site". National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
- North Union Shaker Site Shaker Historic Trail. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "The North Union Shakers". Retrieved 2008-01-20.
- "Shaker Heights". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. CWRU. 2003. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- The Shakers Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, September 17, 2010
- The last of the Shakers Busted Halo, April 13, 2010
- Ouimet, Leanne (2009-12-08). "Jeannine Lauber: Exploring the Modern Day Shakers". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
- Tarunjit Singh Butalia; Dianne P. Small. Religion in Ohio: Profiles of Faith Communities. Ohio University Press; 2004. ISBN 978-0-8214-1551-1. p. 101–106.
- Mary Lou Conlin. The North Union Story: A Shaker Society, 1822-1889. 1961.
- Roger Lee Hall. May We Ever Be United: Music of the North Union, Ohio Shakers. PineTree Press, 2012.
- Bruce T. Marshall. Shaker Heights. Arcadia Publishing; 2006. ISBN 978-0-7385-4050-4. p. 7–32.
- Caroline Behlen Piercy. The Valley of Gods̓ Pleasure: A Saga of the North Union Shaker Community. Stratford House; 1951.
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