SHIRLEY -- On the grounds of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution is a building built in the 1840's by a religious community known as the Shakers. Gathered in 1793, this group of believers lived, worked, and worshipped together on over 250 acres in the southern part of Shirley. They supported themselves by selling mops, brooms, herbs, rose water, and applesauce. They were well known for the quality of their products and the kindness of their spirit.
In 1908, the Shaker land was sold to the state of Massachusetts to be used as an Industrial School for Boys. In the 1970s, the property evolved into a correctional facility. The Shirley Historical Society leads tours of the former Shaker Village and explains the history of the Shaker faith and the way they put their faith into action.
There will be two more guided tours this fall at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 and 22. The cost is $15 per person and reservations must be made in advance by emailing email@example.com or phoning 978-425-9328.