Sam Berry, The One-Armed Outlaw

Julia Raimondi, University of Richmond

Samuel Oscar Berry was one of many orphans that Shaker merchants brought back to Pleasant Hill from their trading journeys across the south and mid-west. He arrived on Halloween 1845 from Clay County, Missouri, with one of his brothers when he was nine years old. A third, younger, brother would also arrive a few years later.

Berry’s stay at Pleasant Hill was a troublesome one. Like most orphans brought into the community, he didn’t immediately conform to their practices and had a habit of lashing out and rebelling. His brothers were similar, and repeatedly they ran away. His first runaway attempt was in June 1852. He was recaptured and brought back, only to run away again at some point during the next few years (the Shakers recorded his first runaway attempt and did not record it when he ran away again).

Not much is known about what happened in the years between that and the Civil War. At some point, Berry lost one of his arms in a farm machinery accident. Reports conflict slightly as to the location of the incident – one says Perryville and the other states Lexington. From then on, he was known as Sam ‘One-Armed’ Berry.

Sam ‘One-Armed’ Berry and
Jerome ‘Sue Mundy’ Clarke *

Despite missing an arm, Berry was able to successfully enlist in the Confederate army as a member of General Morgan’s 6th Cavalry. The rumored reason for his enlistment is that he witnessed a Union soldier bayonet his sister to death, but there are no official records of him having a sister.

Throughout the war, Morgan’s men were known for their rough and thuggish ways across Kentucky, and it was not unheard of for these men to devolve into bands of roaming guerrillas that terrorized the countryside.

Sam Berry, his friend and fellow outlaw Jerome ‘Sue Mundy’ Clarke, and several other criminals formed one such guerrilla group. This guerrilla group, ironically, was who held up the Shaker stagecoach outside Pleasant Hill.

In a journal entry from the day of the incident, a Shaker scribe reported that Berry and his gang members robbed the Shakers of roughly $150. They also stopped and robbed other travelers passing by, including a Union soldier, before letting the stagecoach go and continuing on to Harrodsburg, where they had a failed attempt in robbing the bank.

Berry and his gang continued to terrorize and pillage the Kentucky countryside for another year, including massacring a unit of African American Union soldiers. Eventually, they were all caught and court-martialed for their crimes. All of them were sentenced to death, but Berry was able to use his injury to get his sentence commuted to 10 years hard labor at a military prison in Albany, NY.

Despite multiple attempts to have the President pardon him, he died of tuberculosis three years later while still in prison. He is now one of three Confederate soldiers buried at Rural Albany Cemetery in upstate New York.

Julia Raimondi is a student at University of Richmond completing a research project on the Shaker community at Pleasant Hill. For questions or comments please contact at Julia.raimondi@richmond.edu.

* Photo courtesy of FindAGrave.com.

Family Tradition

For Ann Bakhaus, supporting Shaker Village has been a family affair.

Barry Stumbo, Chief Development Officer

Ann Bakhaus, recently elected vice-chair of the Board of Trustees at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, has maintained a strong bond to Shaker Village since she was a small child. “Shaker Village has been near and dear to my heart for well over 50 years. My parents took me there as a child to this beautiful historic place, and many happy memories were made.”

She recalls “Early on my father, O. A. Bakhaus, was instrumental, with a handful of other folks, to purchase the buildings that were sold off and bring our Shaker history back to life again. This is a place that needs to be cherished and celebrated to educate future generations about simplicity of life and incredible craftsmanship. I am proud to play a small role in this endeavor.”

Ann was appointed to the Shaker Board of Trustees in 2011. Shaker Village President and CEO Maynard Crossland said, “Ann has provided tremendous leadership to the board and is extremely passionate about her work at Shaker Village. Like her father, she continues to inspire future generations through discovery by sharing the legacy of the Pleasant Hill Shakers.”

Mr. Bakhaus instilled the importance of community involvement in his daughter Ann at an early age.

Today, despite of a packed schedule involving work, family and horses, Ann Bakhaus focuses on giving back to the community that has been so good to her and her family.

Born at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Ann grew up in Lexington, graduated from St. Mary’s College in Raleigh, N.C., and pursued a degree at the Atlanta School of Fashion Design. She worked in advertising before making the move back to Lexington to focus on raising her three children.

In 1997, she took over the helm of her father’s business, Kentucky Eagle, Inc., which distributes Anheuser Busch products, Yuengling, many crafts and wine & spirits. She mainly focused on ensuring that her business was always run as a family owned business while also being in tune with upcoming trends and products and always overseeing government regulations that affect the industry.

She spearheaded the construction of the company’s headquarters on Innovation Drive in Lexington, the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – certified Anheuser Busch distributorship in the country.

Retiring from Kentucky Eagle in 2018 to let her children carry on, she is now chair of the Town Branch Park, which is funding and overseeing the construction, programming and operations of the transformational 9-acre park located between LCC and Oliver Louis in downtown Lexington.

Many know Bakhaus for her civic involvement in Commerce Lexington, Lexington Industrial Foundation, Lexington Triangle Foundation, Child Development of the Bluegrass, Fayette Alliance Foundation, Downtown Lexington Partnership, The Markey Foundation and Lexington Center Corp Board.

A horse lover since childhood, Bakhaus breeds Thoroughbreds at Keene Ridge Farm, her 169-acre farm that overlooks Keeneland. She also has a pleasure barn where she and her boarders trail ride and enjoy clinics in the arena.

Bakhaus’ greatest passion is her family; daughters Tate Russell Sherman and husband Josh, Kelton Bakhaus Jarrell and her husband Beau, son Michael Russell and wife Taryn Solomon and two granddaughters, Hadley and Finley.

Re-treat Yourself!

(or, why you should stop meeting in boring locations and host your next company retreat @ Shaker Village!)

Sandra Wolcott, Group Sales Manager

I’ve had some time to think about what type of informative blog I could share with you all, and hopefully one that doesn’t seem like a pain to read all of the way through! (Is it too late to turn this into a short podcast?)

So let’s dive right in! I joined the Shaker Village team over a year ago as a Sales Manager and honestly, I keep learning new things about the Shakers and this village every day. It’s pretty rare to have something so unique to offer companies, and many of our visitors have become like a second family to me.

I even get to hang out with ducks, cows, horses and goats twice a week, and I feel like you should have that opportunity as well!

So with that in mind… let’s think about three things to ask yourself before you plan your next company retreat:

  1. Is there a restaurant that provides a private room and serves fresh local ingredients?
  2. What about comfortable meeting spaces that encourages brainstorming, but also gives you some elbowroom?
  3. Would you like an experience that leaves you feeling refreshed?

I have been in Hospitality for almost 10 years and I always ask myself these questions to find out if my venue will hold my attention, or more specifically, be worth the cost.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, or as some of you have known it, “Shakertown”, can really be a venue for any type of event (because Hospitality is our jam!)

Now, in Kentucky we have this wonderful landscape to play in. Rolling hills with endless views (also endless bourbon options). Not only that but we have all of this rich history right in our own backyard.

For example…

This building, the West Lot Dwelling, is almost 200 years old and over-looks miles of equestrian trails.

You could meet in an office building made of glass with a city view, or in a row of buildings that overlook a busy road in town, but here at Shaker Village…you get this!

Boomer (the cat) was actually my first tour guide when I joined the team (and my first work friend)! He walked with me to each building until he felt like I was comfortable enough to take it from there. Mostly you’ll find him sleeping in a window or sunbathing on a patch of grass.

My love of Boomer is distracting me!

Let’s get back to showing you some more of our meeting rooms!

Now this building used to be a Shaker wash house. (Give me an excel spreadsheet and some pie charts before manually wringing out clothes any day!) There is even a breakout room upstairs, easy access to a large parking lot, and it is next to buildings with overnight guest rooms.

Shaker Village also has 72 guest rooms to choose from, and each one has its own unique style.

I also have to show you the Cellar in the West Family Dwelling! It has a bar built in, which is perfect for a banquet. There is also a small meeting room on the second floor.

I did save our largest rent-able meeting space for last. The 1820 Meeting House can accommodate up to 100 people! It is also centrally located off the turnpike and used for several of our daily programs. (And, we won’t make you sit on the benches for your meeting. Promise.)

There can be multiple rental options for a retreat here at Shaker Village. Let’s not forget, we also have 3,000 acres to play in. We can customize and tailor each individual group experience. All you have to do is ask!

We have facilitators available for team building and strategic planning. A/V equipment is also available for your convenience, and indoor/outdoor back-up plans are prepared for any weather situation.

We offer catering through our restaurant, and you’ll be amazed at what Chef Amber Hokams can do with fresh ingredients from the garden, and how flexible she can be with dietary restrictions.

So why should you go to a corporate brand when you can actively contribute to a non-profit that keeps history alive?

You will have an experience to always remember here at Shaker Village, and if it isn’t the cows, unique meeting rooms and guest rooms, scenic views, mouthwatering food, or Boomer the Cat, then I don’t know how else to get you here….

Maybe The Dixie Belle! It holds up to 115 passengers and cruises the Kentucky River from Shaker Landing. You can even rent the entire boat and add catering!

The Shakers have a saying that I stand by, in every way.

“We make you kindly welcome.”

I look forward to hearing from you soon! Also, not too bad for my first blog, right?  Maybe I should have added the full-grown ducks…they waddle like penguins around the Village. Next time?

Click here to learn more about hosting your meeting or retreat at Shaker Village!

Happy Hammering!

Preservation Projects for the Summer of 2019

William Updike, Vice President of Natural and Cultural Resources

This is an exciting time, and we wanted to post an update on several on-going and upcoming projects you may see during visits to the Village over the summer and into the fall!

For starters, we re-opened the 1834 Centre Family Dwelling this spring after a year-and-a-half of work! (There are several prior blog posts about this project, if you’d like to learn more!)

Work is already underway on several of our other historic buildings. So far this year we have re-roofed the 1811 Old Stone Shop, and made repairs to the Old Ministries Shop and Cooper’s Shops.

Roofing underway on the 1811 Old Stone Shop.
Roofing completed on the 1811 Old Stone Shop.
Threshold on 1813 Old Ministry’s Shop before repair.
Threshold on 1813 Old Ministry’s Shop after repair.

Last summer we began work on the 1833 Water House. The first phase of this project completed a major structural repair to the front (south) wall of the building. This summer we will complete the preservation work on this building including repairs to the roof framing, siding, windows, a new shake roof and a fresh coat of paint. We are re-roofing and painting the nearby Brethren’s Bath House which will complete work on structures adjacent to the Centre Family Dwelling.

1833 Water House during recent preservation efforts.
1860 Brethren’s Bathhouse roof repair in progress.

In other work, we will also be installing a new roof on the 1821 Ministry’s Shop. This project will begin the preservation work on this building, and we intend to also make repairs to the exterior of the building and to repaint it prior to winter. We will begin to repair and repaint all of the windows, exterior doors, and exterior trim of the East Family Dwelling. This is a large project and plan to complete late in the fall, or possibly next spring if the weather cooperates.

Our work at Shaker Village is never truly finished. Use, time and the elements take a toll on our buildings and it is our duty to maintain them for future generations. You can help by making donations, and/or joining us on an upcoming volunteer day!

Click here to learn more about how to support our efforts!

In Remembrance

Pleasant Hill bears witness to the Civil War

Jacob Glover, PhD, Program Manager

“Such a day as this has never been witnessed on Pleasant Hill before and God grant that it never may again.”

Written by the East Family Deaconness on October 11, 1862, this single line of text reveals much about the Shakers’ complicated relationship with the Civil War, and the events at Pleasant Hill during the campaigns that led to the Battle of Perryville.

Battle of Perryville, as depicted by Harper’s Weekly.

As a pacifist sect, the Pleasant Hill Shakers were extremely distressed by the reports of skirmishes and battles that continued to filter into their community throughout 1861 and 1862, as the Civil War intensified. By October 1862, then, the Shakers would have been well-accustomed to reading about the horrors of war. Seeing it in their front yard, however, was something entirely different:

“Strange events! Whoever would have thought that this secluded and sacred spot of truly Pleasant Hill, would ever have been surrounded by the embattled legions within hearing distance in almost every direction….How awful to think of a wicked and bloody battle occurring in the midst of Zion on earth!”

This “invasion” of the Shaker utopia, by both the Union and Confederate armies for several weeks in the fall of 1862, quite obviously, struck at the community’s religious foundations and caused a great deal of consternation among the population. The scenes described by the East Family Deaconness bordered on the apocalyptic, and, at times, the Shakers wrote as if the soldiers who “surrounded our wells like the locusts of Egypt” and “thronged our kitchen doors and windows begging for bread like hungry wolves” would overwhelm them.

The Company Muster Roll of Confederate Soldier William Outlaw, who was ill and treated by the Pleasant Hill Shakers prior to the Battle of Perryville. Outlaw never recovered, and was buried in the Shaker graveyard.
Courtesy of Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site.

And yet, despite their absolute rejection of the validity of warfare, the Shakers could not turn a blind eye to the very real human suffering present at Pleasant Hill. “We nearly emptied our kitchens of their contents,” the Shakers commented, “…and then when our stores were exhausted, we were obliged to drive them from our doors while they were begging for food. Heart rending scene!”

The generosity of the Shakers must have been noteworthy and appreciated by the hungry soldiers, as the Shakers reported that none of their possessions or property had been confiscated by either army.

Both before and after the Battle of Perryville, the Shakers supported ailing and wounded soldiers by treating them at Pleasant Hill and sending medical supplies to nearby Harrodsburg. By early November 1862, there were still 600 to 700 soldiers in the town who were too sick or injured to rejoin their units.

While the Civil War, and the events surrounding the Battle of Perryville, had indeed shaken the community to it’s core, the East Family Deaconness refused to concede defeat in the Shakers’ quest to establish their earthly utopia. That Pleasant Hill “should have escaped with comparatively so little damage, clearly implies…” she concluded, “there is still a spark of light, a remnant of faith, and a seed of truth, [and] ‘I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.’”