An early start from Jason's house gave us the opportunity to take some back roads. Our destination was Mammoth Caves National Park but plans are always in Jello. Joel had decided he wanted to stop in Bowling Green on the way and had plugged a few potential parking spots into the GPS. I was looking at the map and saw that there was a Shaker's Museum on our way, so we decided to make a slight detour and check it out. I have always admired the clean lines of Shaker furniture and Joel loves looking at architecture and anything wood.
I learned that the colony was very similar to modern day communes except that men and women were celibate and lived apart and children were adopted in order to increase population. Married couples with children could join the colony but lived apart. Men and women slept in separate quarters in separate wings of the Centre House. The religious beliefs of the Shakers set them apart from mainstream America due to their principles of celibacy, communal ownership of property and withdrawal from worldly society.
The Shakers were self sufficient, raising all of their food; making furniture; and building all of the buildings. They believed cleanliness was important and liked things neat and tidy and uncluttered. As the population of the Colony got older and numbers declined, the remaining 9 older members decided they could not keep up the buildings and 4000 acres and auctioned off everything in 1922. Today, there is a small Shaker Colony of four members still in existence in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.
All and all this was a great impromptu stop. I was a little dubious about paying $8.00 for a museum but it was well worth it.
We fixed a late lunch in the Big House and then headed to Bowling Green. Temperatures were in the high 90's with high humidity in the 70's...whew..hot!. We parked at the Moose Lodge in Bowling Green and then headed out for an evening stroll in the old part of town. The town square has a nice fountain and the buildings in the old part of town are interesting.
Everything was closed since it was Monday and after 7:00 P.M. but the old town looked like a fun place to poke around. ..at another time. We returned to the Moose Lodge and decided that while the Corvette Museum might be interesting we'd pass this time and head up toward Mammoth Caves in the morning.