The Shakers were active at Mt. Lebanon for 160 years, from the late 18th century to the middle of the 20th century. At their height they owned nearly 6,000 acres. The Shakers took advantage of their location and used the resources available to them. They created intricate waterworks, and used the land from the higher elevations of the Taconics all the way down to the bottom of the Valley, Shaker Swamp. Their land use created a mosaic of crop, orchard, hay, pasture, and timber lands across the landscape. Some of this mosaic is still evident from the stone walls yet standing in today’s forests.
Our hope is to create “field biographies” for specific parcels of land by doing field visits, deed searching, and Shaker manuscript snooping. By doing this we hope to learn more about how historical human land use has affected the ecological communities we see today.
The information you see here is only a start to what is possible. The Google Earth file provides geographic information on stone walls and land boundaries, human-made artifacts on the land, and evidence of past land use from interpreting the current forests.
The PowerPoint was created for a presentation at FEP’s open house on November 29, 2012 and provides more background into this project.
All of the land shown in the project is on private property. Those who want access should seek permission from individual landowners.
Questions or comments can be sent to Kyle Bradford by email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (518) 672-7994.