It’s Friday, August 1, 1969. Richard Nixon is President. Neil Armstrong has just become the first human to set foot on the moon. Elvis is performing in Las Vegas. At Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, a young Mercer County High School student arrives for her first day at a new job.
Having opened to the public the previous year, Shaker Village had many part-time jobs to fill, especially in the busy summer months. Brenda Cocanougher had been hired as a server in the Village’s restaurant, the Trustees’ Table. Upon arrival, she was issued her costume, which included a dress, scarf and apron (all Village servers dressed as 19th century Shakers at the time.) She then began her training in both restaurant service, and the story of Pleasant Hill. “This,” she thought, “will be an interesting job.”
Brenda’s family had long been connected to the property at Pleasant Hill. After the time of the Shakers, Brenda’s relatives had raised tobacco at the site, and her uncle ran a general store and pump station in the 1815 Shaker Carpenter’s Shop. Still, Brenda could never have suspected that she had found the place where she would work for the next 50 years!
In 1973, after working part-time in the Trustees’ Table throughout college, Brenda was hired by Shaker Village as a secretary. In her new role she would support Shaker Village’s President, Public Relations Director, Director of Collections and Accounting Department.
Brenda’s title has changed on several occasions through the years, with variations including Office Manager, Executive Secretary and Executive Assistant. Her consistency and hard work has benefited every president in the Village’s history: James Cogar, Jim Thomas, Madge Adams, and current President/CEO Maynard Crossland. In her time at Shaker Village, Brenda has witnessed, and been an integral part of, the preservation of Kentucky’s largest National Historic Landmark.
A resident of nearby Burgin, Brenda loves spending time with her husband, Lynn Roseman, and their daughter Merin (who also spent several years working at Shaker Village, and still leads the Village’s beekeeping workshops today!)
Brenda is an aficionado of wildflowers, and impresses the staff team each year with her incredible holiday candies and cookies! While she is not certain what the future may hold for her, she is proud to look back on all she has been a part of at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, and excited to still be a part of the Village’s team today!
We want to wish Brenda a happy 50th anniversary at the Village this year, and say ‘thank you’ for all she has contributed to the preservation of this site. We are fortunate to have Brenda as part of our community.