Friday, November 13, 2009


A trip to Lititz, Lancaster County, to look for bedroom furniture turned into very nice day away from home -- with the Box, of course.

We have looked for months at various places for a bed and dressers to replace the 37 year old stuff we now have. We were pretty sure about what we would buy until remembering the Shaker Shoppe, just outside of Lititz. They make beautiful replications of Shaker furniture, finely constructed, with beautiful finishes. Earlier this week I made a second visit (after the first earlier in the year), and today took Susanne to see some pieces I thought she'd like. Well, she liked them all!

And, as luck would have it (gosh, even though it was Friday the thirteenth), the items we wanted had all gone on sale in the interim, and we got a very good deal for something we will have for the rest of our lives -- and perhaps pass on to our children. (Unless, of course, they sell it all the day we're "planted.")

We were assisted in our choices by Joy, a very knowledgeable and able sales person. We also met the shop founder and owner Tom and cabinetmaker Josh, who had created the very dressers we bought. Josh was kind enough to pose for pictures to go with his signature on the back of each piece.

Who were the Shakers? According the the Shaker Shoppe web site, "The Shakers were the largest and most successful Utopian venture in existence in their time, with an estimated four thousand to six thousand members in eighteen principal communities from Maine to Kentucky by 1840. The Shakers peacefully pursued the vision of their English founder, Mother Ann Lee (1736-1784), who came to America with eight followers in 1774.

"They turned away from the rest of society, which they simply called the World. They lived in large families that were both celibate and communal, devoted their lives to work, and celebrated their love of God in the rousing dance worship that gave them their name. Simplicity was their hallmark; they cared little for worldly goods.

"As they created a new, more perfect society, the Shakers also produced a visual environment of such quiet power that it continues to impress the observer centuries later. Shaker work, devoid of any unnecessary ornamentation or frivolous detail, endures."

After making our puchases, we said farewell to the staff of the Shaker Shoppe, including Maddie, the owners' vicious guard dog, who nearly licked us to death! A golden retriever is the ideal pet, don't you think?

We decided to stop in downtown Lititz, a town founded by Moravians in the 18th century. The Moravians are in their own way as interesting as the Shakers, but not being celibate, are still around! Lititz has a main street of wonderful 18th and 19th century buildings.

We saw several shops that were new since our last visit, so we decided to park and take a look. [Of course, being a cheapskate, I enjoyed discovering that a parking meter gives you an hour for 25 cents, while in Harrisburg a meter gives you 10 minutes for 25 cents!]

We discovered that it was "Second Friday," a day when stores stay open later than usual. We browsed in antiques and crafts shops, then noticed that a large building across the street was for sale as condo units. Fortunately, the model unit was open for "Second Friday," so we were able to see a very nice sample apartment.

On the way home, we stopped for a bite at Bob Evans in Hummelstown and enjoyed recapping our day of shopping and browsing.

Here are some other photos from our day in Lititz:

Josh stands proudly by the low chest he made.

This is the bed we bought. We'll be high off the floor!

We couldn't resist this beautiful painted Shaker cabinet.

Stone and log houses stand side-by-side on Main Street in Lititz.

A simple but elegant wooden house stands nearby.

The CafĂ© Chocolate offers a place of refreshment.

Store windows entice buyers.

This 19th century building, on the site of the first house
in Lititz, is being made into condominiums.

The condos offer an attractive kitchen.

Susanne checks out the balcony from the living room.
Susanne attempting to jump out of the window
when finding out the price of the condo!

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