Today in Pleasant Hill History – November 22

Jacob A. Glover, PhD, Director of Public Programs and Education

We’re unveiling a new series this afternoon that we are calling “Today in Pleasant Hill History” to share more of the Shaker stories we uncover all the time. We hope you enjoy, and let us know in the comments what types of things you all would like to hear about! Without further ado, we’re headed back to November 22, 1872, with a story that you may find eerily familiar:

“The most direful scourage, the Epizootic that has wrought such havoc among the horses in the Eastern Cities, & now spreading Westward, as now its appearance in among our Office horses, through the stage horses, & there is no telling the destruction it may work.”

Known as the “The Great Epizootic of 1872,” this was the worst outbreak of equine influenza in recorded history. In Buffalo, NY, one of the eastern cities referenced by the Shakers, The New York Times noted that there were “not enough well horses to carry merchandise through the streets.” By the following spring, the epizootic had apparently passed, and the Shakers did not mention it any further.

Shaker Village