The Virtual Watervliet project allows Shaker Heritage Society (SHS) to achieve its mission to cultivate an interest in Shaker history while increasing awareness of the historic site of America’s first Shaker settlement and support for its preservation.
The project includes a digital reconstruction of the publically accessible portion of the Watervliet Shaker National Historic District, which is known as the Church Family. A mobile website and multiple online opportunities to interact and learn from historical images, photos, music, and 3D digital models are also available. With a couple mouse clicks, the evolution of the historic site becomes visually accessible to people who participate in the Society’s education programs, to local residents and to virtual visitors around the world. Users can explore this resource at will, gaining a deeper understanding of the historic site and greater perspective on its part in history.
The Shakers occupied the Watervliet (Albany) site from 1776 thorough 1925, when Albany County purchased the Church Family property. The County granted SHS its first long term lease in 2010, enabling SHS to apply for capital improvement grants. SHS developed a detailed Site Master Plan to guide the revitalization effort. The Plan calls for a mixed use facility that includes commercial, recreational and educational opportunities.
SHS is a small but ambitious organization that is dedicated to transforming the historic site into a unique gateway to New York State’s Capital Region. SHS provides a wide variety of education programs, concerts and other events. Please visit our website for additional information about programs and ways to join the effort to preserve this fascinating and important aspect of American history.