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America's first Shaker settlement, the 1776 Watervliet Church Community, retains its 1848 Meeting House and seven other buildings. The Shakers (the United Society of Believers), an early American religious group, were known for their remarkable craftsmanship as well as their religious devotion. Work was a way of devoting oneself to God, and they sought to create heaven on earth with a communitarian social structure and celibacy; they adopted needy children and brought them into the "family," to work on the estate; on Sunday, outsiders came to see their mesmerizing church services. The Shakers, who at their peak numbered about 350 here, abandoned the site in 1924. Mother Ann Lee and more than 400 other Shakers are buried on the grounds. Craft workshops are held on the premises, where there is a small gift shop. Allow about a half-hour to tour the site.