Everybody poops, even the Shakers. While not the sexiest building or topic, I couldn’t help but share this mid-19th century privy (outhouse) located in the Canterbury Shaker Village. The small clapboard privy measures just 6.5 x 13 feet and has two chambers, which face outward overlooking the apple orchard, making it a great place to do your business!
The original purpose served by this small clapboard building in the Canterbury Shaker Village, built in 1837 and measuring just 12 x 25 feet is subject to some debate, although it was definitely used as a drying house. Early writings indicate it was built as an apple-drying house while others state that the original purpose was to dry lumber. The present off-center gable-roofed cupola on the gable roof served as a ventilator. In 1865, the building became the headquarters of the bee keepers of the local Shakers.
Located just east of the Meeting House at Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire, the Ministry Shop was used initially as a workshop and after 1878, as sleeping quarters for the Ministry, who resided in the Meeting House until that time. Embellishment on the exterior is limited to a door hood over
the recessed entrance, but the proportions and simplicity of the building really shine. The building is currently used as public exhibition space for the museum, and features a historically appropriate paint scheme!
When Benjamin Whitcher donated his farm for the beginnings of a utopian Shaker community, the land and buildings became the catalyst for the next 200 years of Shaker life in the community. It is known that Benjamin Whitcher constructed his farmhouse sometime between 1775 and 1782. With the arrival of the first Shakers in 1783, Whitcher allowed families to reside on the farmland, with the 1790 Census counting 35 people on the Whitcher property. This structure was one of the original structures on the old Whitcher Farm, and is possibly the oldest extant building in the Shaker village today. The building was moved to its present location in 1841 and was used for distilling sarsaparilla syrup for medicinal purposes by members of the community.
The second oldest purpose-built building in the Canterbury Shaker Village (after the 1792 Meeting House), is the dwelling house, constructed in 1793. The T-shaped structure was expanded numerous times and contains 56 rooms. The structure is the largest in the village and is notable for the large domed cupola, housing a Paul Revere bell. The first floor contained the village butcher shop, bakery, communal kitchen and dining room. For many years the second floor consisted of four bedrooms, two for elders and two for the sisters and the brethren. The third floor is also devoted to dwelling rooms. The Dwelling House was the residence of Canterbury’s last remaining Shaker sister, Ethel Hudson, who died in September 1992, the 200th anniversary year of the founding of the Canterbury Shaker community.
The simplicity and proportions of old Georgian houses are just so pleasing to me. This c.1765 home was built before the United States of America was even a country, a fact that always boggles my mind when doing research on buildings. These four walls have survived numerous wars, pandemics, families, and storms, and will continue to do so for (hopefully) hundreds of more years in the future. This Canterbury house was built for John Carter (1708-1776) and his family, which included a wife and over 10 children in all. The house retains its double-width doors, 12-over-12 windows, central chimney (though likely reduced in size), and stone foundation.
Extant one-room schoolhouses in New England are scarce, so whenever I stumble upon one, I always stop and take a photo! This little schoolhouse in Canterbury, Connecticut was built around 1850 near the village green, and provided schooling for the rural town center’s children for about 100 years until it closed after WWII. In 1947, the modern, Dr. Helen Baldwin School opened in town, forcing many smaller, outdated one-room schools to close. After this, many were either demolished or adapted to other uses. The Canterbury Green Schoolhouse was adapted to the town’s public library. The building later housed the town’s library until 2001, when a new library building was constructed. In the 2000s, the Canterbury Historical Society and town volunteers gathered funds and restored the building to her former glory and appearance. The school is now occasionally open as a small museum for the town.
I was going through some images on my phone, and stumbled upon some Canterbury, CT buildings I never posted! This Federal style house was built around 1815 for Dr. Andrew Harris one of two physicians in Canterbury in the early 19th century. He was born in Rhode Island and lived on a farm until he took up in the medical profession. He was known throughout eastern Connecticut as one of the most distinguished operative surgeons in the state until his death at the young age of 53. The large home features a Palladian window above the entrance with some Victorian era alterations, including the front porch, elongated 2-over-2 windows at the ground floor, and double-door entry. Oh, and the house is across the street from the iconic Prudence Crandall House.
Located south of the Canterbury Town Green on S. Canterbury Road, this late Georgian style house showcases the style in a more rural setting with a comfortable distance from the street. The home is estimated to have been built by about 1790 and largely added to and updated in 1801 when purchased by Captain John Clark, an Englishman and former shipbuilder who shifted his skill from ships to houses. Clark is also believed to be the builder of the Prudence Crandall House just up the road, completed a couple years later.
The two-story hipped roof home features a prominent balustrade at the roof ridge, twin chimneys, a central triangular pediment with flanking pilasters and a Palladian window at the second floor. The elaborate architectural treatment of the central bay and entrance is synonymous with the “Canterbury” style of Georgian architecture in the region.
The David Nevins House, located at 7 South Canterbury Road, is a gorgeous Georgian style home with a symmetrical facade. The five bay home has a large central stone chimney which appears original to the home, reports state it was restored in the 1970s using large stones found in the home’s basement. The central paired and panelled front doors are surrounded by a Georgian entry with pilasters with a pulvinated frieze and a broken scroll pediment above. The original owner David Nevins (1729-1758) moved to Canterbury from Nova Scotia Canada and worked as a merchant. In 1758, Nevins died when repairing a damaged bridge to reopen trade with nearby Plainfield. According to A History of Norwich (1866),
“He was standing on one of the cross beams of the bridge, giving directions to the workmen, and had his watch in his hand, which he had just taken out to see the time, when, losing his balance, he fell into the swollen stream, was swept down by the current, and drowned before he could be rescued“
After his death, the home was occupied as a parsonage for the First Congregational Church across the street.