Melissa Williams, Development Coordinator
“When we sow words and deeds of kindness, we will rejoice in the time of harvest. – Brother Larz Erickson, Pleasant Hill
The season of thanksgiving is upon us and here at Shaker Village it is the best time of the year. I say that in all seriousness, but it’s hard to dispute that any time is the best time of year at Pleasant Hill.
There is something about the falling leaves, the preparations for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Trustees’ Table and the addition of holiday decorations going up across the Village that makes this place extra special. A stroll down the turnpike on a crisp November day will inspire you and fill you with good cheer.
WE MAKE YOU KINDLY WELCOME
If you visited this year, you might have noticed something about Shaker Village: we’ve been extremely busy! The Inn has been booked with happy families and individuals seeking a peaceful getaway. Reservations are almost always needed to dine at The Trustees’ Table. Programming has been well attended by visitors young and old. Hikers and horseback riders have been out on the trails every day.
To put it simply Shaker Village has been flourishing. The grounds look better than ever. Historic preservation work continues through the Village. A new exhibit is opening next month. The farm family is growing. The trails have received restorative work. And more!
Every event we hosted in 2021 (to date) was a success, with guests declaring that it was “the best event ever” and their intention to make it an annual tradition. It’s truly been exhilarating.
There have undoubtedly been challenges this year. The biggest of these has been trying to keep our staff and visitors safe while providing a robust guest experience.
We chose early on to move forward in planning for our signature events with modifications for COVID protocols. Our first signature event, Brunch with the Babies, was expanded to include Family Farm Days throughout the month of April. This format provided a more flexible and socially distanced guest experience for a wider audience. It was such a hit that Family Farm Days will be back in 2022. The same is true for other events and programming that we introduced or modified this year.
Like other businesses we have experienced staffing issues for a variety of reasons. Behind the scenes our staff has pulled together to wear many hats so that the guest experience meets your expectations. We sincerely appreciate the grace you’ve shown us when these challenges have been apparent.
Supply issues have also kept us on our toes. This month The Trustees’ Office is getting some tender love and care as the old cedar shake roof is removed and new shingles are installed. We’ve been waiting on the shakes since February and the price of materials increased by $50,000 during the delay. With overnight rooms, the restaurant and a craft store housed in The Trustees’ Office, it is the most visited building by our guests and is a critical revenue center for our operation. We could not delay the project further in hopes of prices coming down without risking more substantial water damage to the building.
A SINCERE THANK YOU
We know that this year hasn’t been easy for you either. We have all experienced stress in our personal lives for many reasons. And yet, you’ve supported us.
You’ve visited the Village to hike the trails and explore the Historic Center. You’ve participated in programming, gone on guided tours and been here for all of our signature events.
You’ve stayed overnight at The Inn, more so than ever before, and you’ve dined at The Trustees’ Table.
And when we have asked, you have donated to our nonprofit mission.
Because of you and your support, Shaker Village has been able to continue the important work we do here to carry forward the legacy of the Pleasant Hill Shakers.
Saying “thank you” doesn’t seem like enough to express just how much we appreciate you as a guest and a friend. Without you, your interest and your support, Shaker Village would not exist as it does. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine a world without this 3,000-acre site.
So, we will say thank you and hope that you know we mean it. Sincerely.