There are only a few days in the year when people can go to MCI Shirley and have a guided tour of the Shirley Shaker Village buildings.

Those buildings housed more than 100 believers in the second coming of Christ for more than 100 years. They are where the Shakers lived, worked and worshipped together in a communal village, sharing all their worldly goods and a common faith.

Many 21st century people are not even aware that the village is there. They may have heard Shaker music or admired Shaker boxes, baskets and furniture but did not know that the people who created those works of art lived right here in Shirley.

People may remember that the Shakers packaged and sold high quality seeds and herbs and they may know that the Shakers believed in celibacy. But do they know that the Shakers also believed in equality of the sexes and races?

Visitors who come on guided tours to the Village will learn all this and much more.

This fall's tours will be on Sundays, Sept. 7 and 21, and Oct. 5 and 19, starting on site at 12:30 p.m.

Participants must register and pay ahead of time by contacting the Shirley Historical Society at 978-425-9328 or or mailing their request to Shirley Historical Society, P.O. Box 217, Shirley, MA 01464.