On August 6, 1874, Elder Harvey Eades wrote the following from his office in the Ministry Shop at South Union: “The day 100 years since, our dear Mother Ann Lee and her little company landed in America, bringing with them the tidings of the everlasting gospel to all who were hungering and thirsting after righteousness. It is hoped that in 100 years more, this gospel will have spread to the ends of the earth.” The Shakers have now been in America for 250 years. South Union Shaker Village continues to preserve the Shaker legacy in what was their “outer branch” in southern Kentucky. We hope you will partner with us to make sure those preservation efforts continue.



It is a year for celebration as the Shakers commemorate 250 years in America! South Union Shaker Village is proud to be a part of that history. We have been preserving the Shakers’ important legacy in Kentucky for more than six decades and are asking that you help us continue our work here. 2023 was a banner year for restoration at South Union. From window restoration to door replication, from dormer repairs to exciting paint color discoveries, we made major progress in the preservation of our architectural heritage. The information below highlights many of those projects, as well as our educational efforts and continued commitment to collecting South Union’s material culture. There are still many exciting opportunities on the horizon and much work to be done. Thank you for your generous support in the past and for considering a continued partnership through this annual appeal.

Please support South Union Shaker Village by contributing toward our Celebrating 250 Years of Shakers in America Campaign for the 2024 season.

Contributions may be made by check or credit card. You may donate online by clicking the button above. Setting up monthly payments is also an option! Give us a call at: 270-542-4167.

Donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000.00, thanks to the generosity of the SUSV Advisory Committee and Board of Directors!



Six of the dormers atop the 1824 Centre House were restored with funding from the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and a contribution from Ernie and Elaine Ezell. Five additional dormers await restoration.



2023 was a year of door preservation at South Union, beginning with the restoration of the original door to the 1835 Smoke House, a project funded by Rex and Suzi Payne. Two interior doors missing from the 1824 Centre House were replicated by Roger Ryan, one hung at the entrance to Room #3 and the other between the dining room and kitchen. These projects were funded by Kay Bender and John and Linda Tanner. Finally, the deteriorating exterior trim and transom associated with the 1920 door to the boiler room were restored, thanks to Wayne Metcalf and restoration carpenter, Jack Perry.



The repair and re-glazing of windows in the historic buildings continued to be a priority in 2023. 1854 Wash House windows were adopted for restoration by Dick Clay, and Martha and Jim Sawyer. Tim and Robyn Minor funded window restoration on the entire east side of the building! Jeff Clark and Marion Jackson contributed toward window restoration on the 1824 Centre House.



Thanks to the efforts of paint conservator and analyst, Dr. Susan Buck, additional brilliant colors were discovered. Now we know that the Shakers at South Union chose rich red-orange and bright yellow gold for their interior trim in the 1824 Centre House. An even brighter orange was found in the 1835 Milk House. Work is underway to restore the vivid colors, always thought to have been much darker and with no reflective qualities.




Online educational resources, produced in-house, continued through 2023 with the bi-monthly “Preservation Update” series. The videos explored the many groundbreaking preservation projects taking place at South Union throughout the year. The material is archived on the website.

Bill and Julie Kratts were honored with SUSV’s annual Deedy Hall Volunteer of the Year Award in November. Julie’s interpretive work as a weekly docent evolved into service projects that included her husband, Bill. From cleaning to painting to major electrical work, the Kratts made a big impact on South Union.

South Union Shaker history was interpreted well beyond the confines of our historic site in 2023, with presentations given at the Filson Historical Society, WKU’s Society for Lifelong Learning, for the Communal Studies Association, the National Organization of Morgan’s Men, White Water Shaker Village, and many local civic organizations.



ca. 1860, attributed to the 1922 auction, with handles shaped like South Union chair finials, purchased with acquisition endowment funds



of South Union Eldress Harriet Breedlove (1818-1904), belonged to Mattie Sandford Bryant
(1850-1929), a Shaker at South Union from 1882-1887 and third great-grandmother of the donor, donated by Bailey Adams



ca. 1830 poplar safe with tin panels, descended through the Thurman family, who bought the Shakers’ mill site in Warren County, possible Shaker construction, donated by Ted Barr and Tony Thurman



ca. 1870, mule eared type, used by the South Union Shakers, donated by Mary Jane Collins Newton



ca. 1860, metal, black with yellow lettering “South Union,” that once hung from the eaves of one of the railroad buildings at South Union Station, purchased with acquisition endowment funds

Shaker Villageannual appeal 2024