History of Shaker Farms
The legend of Shaker began long, long ago before the horses hauled cargo along the tow paths that ran from New Haven, Ct. to Westfield, MA. Back then, horses pulled colorful canal boats filled with 200 plus passengers and precious cargo. The wide canals ran along side of what will soon become the Columbia Greenway Railtrail. Back then, Westfield was known for its buggy whips, cigars, and bricks.
It is said that the Pocomtuc Tribe first inhabited the Westfield area. The Pocomtuc, also known as the Wornocos means winding land is still an appropriate name today. Just take a walk on any hole of Shaker Farms Country Club and see the natural beauty with the lush slopes and winding brooks meandering through the course.
The story of Shaker however had its roots from the rebellious Quaker, Mother Anne Lee. In 1774 Mother Anne Lee brought nine of her followers to America. The Shaker Communities spread through New England. It is said that a family of Shakers lived on the land now known as Shaker Farms Country Club. Like the Quakers, the Shakers separated themselves from society and were self-sufficient. The Shakers lived in communal families in dormitory-like quarters segregated by sex. The Shakers were known for their fine furniture. Celibacy was part of their faith which is why their communities died out.
The name itself — Shakers was a derogatory term that people used to describe the dancing, shouting, shaking, and “glossolalia (speaking in strange and unknown languages)” of the rebellious Quakers, known as Shakers. They were accused of heresy, witchcraft, and fanaticism because of their worship rituals of shakings and tongue-speaking. This behavior is still symptomatic today on the same plot of land that was once inhabited by the Potomac Indians and then later by the Shakers. If you listen closely you can hear the whispers and cries of nonsensical words that echo throughout the winding land as golfers struggle to earn their bragging rights at Shaker Farms County Club.