Shaker founder Mother Ann Lee was thrown in jail in England for preaching her beliefs in communal living, celibacy, equality, and pacifism, so she and her followers sailed for America in 1774, seeking religious freedom. Children lived apart from the adults, with girls attending school in summer and boys in winter. Older children will appreciate the Shakers’ imaginative solutions to everyday prolems—the clothespin, circular saw, cut nails, and water-repellent fabric. The museum houses more than 8,500 items in twenty-four galleries—the largest collection of Shaker craftsmanship in the country. You may also want to visit the nearby Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, Darrow Road, New Lebanon, the site of the first permanent Shaker community in New York.