The Doors at Canterbury Shaker Village

Doors are symbolic of opportunity, new life and passing from one state to another. But what about the doors that welcome us home everyday? It seems to me these passages represent a return to shelter and comfort, a return to the familiar.

During a recent trip to Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire I couldn’t help but wonder over the building entrances. Since the late 18th century these entries have ushered residents and visitors into meeting halls, workshops, dinning rooms and living quarters. What stories they could tell! Each door must have represented something different to every person who crossed the threshold.

Canterbury Shaker Village is located in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Built in 1792, it was one of 19 Shaker communities in the United States. The last Shaker resident, Ethel Hudson, died in 1992. Today Canterbury Shaker Village is a non-profit museum tasked with preserving the heritage of the Shakers who called the area home for 200 years. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993. If you want to see the Canterbury Shaker Village doors in person you can tour the site May through October and for special winter holiday events. Learn more by visiting




17 Responses to The Doors at Canterbury Shaker Village

  1. Louise Smith says:

    It’s lovely to revisit those doorways via your great pictures! Thanks!

  2. Sue Powers says:

    Thanks so much for the pictures of all of the doors of the Shaker village. We (husband and I) may never travel up that way so it is nice that you would share your experiences and scenes with us.

  3. Love your door pictures, that’s something I like to photograph too – I’m in New Mexico and there are a ton of fun, interesting and beautiful doors here!

  4. Lisa L. says:

    Hi Allen!
    Great theme! You’ve taken something most people don’t stop to notice and drawn our attention to it with your pictures. I love to photograph the reflections in old windows.

  5. Edith says:

    Thank you for sharing your photos. I’m always thinking about taking pictures of gardens, but never seem to have my camera with me. I’m also self-conscieous (sp?) about how my front yard looks and ways to improve it. It’s really nice to see welcoming entrances and not just show pieces.

  6. Stewart Lossing says:

    Wonderful to look at. I just wonder of the stories of each door could tell.

  7. philip marsh says:

    great idea. I do a similar theme with windows with window boxes

  8. Diana L. Ferrari says:

    I appreciate architecture. Thank you, Allen, for showing us these great photos.

  9. Marilyn McMillan says:

    Thank you for sharing the photos. I have not been to this Shaker Village, but saw first-hand similar architecture in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, when my husband and I stayed the night in one of the buildings. It is mind-boggling how much of what we use now we owe to the Shakers.

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