Shaker Heritage Society

Freedom & Dignity

The first settlement of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing—the Utopian religious community commonly known as the Shakers—was established here in 1776 by “Mother” Ann Lee. The Shakers are renowned for their technological innovations, music, architecture, and furniture. The Watervliet (Albany) Shakers were the first to package and sell garden seeds, invented the flat broom, were pacifists involved in abolitionist causes, and strove to achieve gender and racial equality. The last Shakers left the community in 1938. Located adjacent to Albany Airport, it is a rural oasis with farm animals on-site during the summer season. The 1848 Meeting House features a small museum and gift shop that features locally made crafts. Visitors may take a self-guided tour using a brochure or mobile application past eight additional Shaker buildings, an herb garden, the cemetery where Ann Lee is buried, and the nearby Ann Lee Pond Nature Preserve.

Amenities: Family Friendly, Restrooms