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Antiques on a Kentucky Shaker Meadow

Hello again from Nancy at Dusty Old Thing. Yesterday I got to enjoy the wonderful Antique Show and Sale at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill right outside of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The show is a weekend event every June and does go through today. It is on Country Living’s list of the 24 best antique shows in America, but we love it because it is a beautiful location and because we have family roots in the area and because of quality both of the dealers and their antiques.

To make it a great day, there was also live music with fiddle and guitar, BBQ for those who don’t dine at the Trustee’s House and lots of shade trees. The show is also small enough so that one is not overwhelmed. The $10.00 ticket price includes admission to the historic buildings for those who want to learn more about the Shakers, their architecture, furniture and way of life.

Here is just a sampling of some of the antiques and booths that caught my attention…

There’s nothing like an antique show under shade trees and with quilts and antiques that go back to long ago…

David Taylor, of David Taylor Antiques in Owensboro, Kentucky, displayed this wonderfully simple cherry chest. It is typical of many of the Kentucky chests from the early part of the 19th century. Cherry was a common wood at that time and was used for furniture making by both artisans and local furniture makers all over the state. Finer chests, some now of museum quality, would feature inlay, scrolled aprons, and sometimes were signed. David found this chest, in rough condition, in a barn in Mercer County.

Harrodsburg, the county seat of Mercer, was founded by James Harrod in 1774. Fort Harrod, a reconstructed pioneer fort, honors the city’s heritage as the first permanent settlement west of the Appalachians.

The Shakers founded the community of Pleasant Hill, a few miles outside of Harrodsburg and near the Kentucky River, in 1805. It was an active Shaker settlement until about 1910. Thanks to area preservationists in the 1960’s, the village was restored. James Cogar, a Kentucky native who had been the first curator of Colonial Williamsburg, oversaw the complex preservation project. Today the village offers lodging and dining in the restored original buildings.

Clarence Smith of Dover House Antiques in Louisville brought a great collection of antiques, including several excellent New England pieces such as this settee and the elegant highboy behind it. Equine art is always a “hit” at Kentucky antique shows.

This set of hand-forged iron gates came from Shelby County, between Louisville and Lexington. They were in the booth of Taylor Thistlethwaite of Glasgow, Kentucky. Taylor also had antiques from Virginia, Georgia and other southern states.

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