South Union Shaker VillageVisit Website
Tues.-Sat. 9am-5pm, Sunday 1-5pm From March to Nov.; Tues.-Sat. 10am-4pm from Dec. to Feb. Closed New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
Serene… peaceful… calm… these are the feelings that will wash over you after taking a short drive west of Bowling Green to the historic site of the South Union Shaker Village. The Shakers were an innovative, hard-working religious group, and this community was established in 1807 and closed in 1922. The village site now consists of several restored buildings including the 1824 Centre House, which contains one of the largest collections of Shaker furniture in the U.S.
On display are original furniture, crafts, textiles and manuscripts, including many journals from the Civil War era. During the War, the Shakers at South Union witnessed both armies as they marched through their village, stole their horses and wagons, and demanded meals and services at any time day or night. The war raged in the Shakers' doors and streets, but their pacifism persevered, and it is estimated they served over 100,000 meals to soldiers.
One of the current exhibits at SUSV, "Dictates of Conscious and Feelings of Humanity," was honored by the KY Historical Society and the Southeastern Museums Conference with awards for excellence in exhibitions. It examines the experience of early 19th century African Americans at South Union.
The Gift Shop features handmade items like baskets, boxes, toys, dresses and more. Nearby Shaker Tavern, built in 1869, provides unique meeting and reception space.