Shaker Historical Society

We inspire people to engage in and celebrate the Shaker Heights story and its impact on the region… past, present, and future.


June 22-26, 2020

Thanks in part to a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and in partnership with the City of Shaker Heights, Tri- C, Hathaway Brown School and Gesu, the Shaker Historical Society's dig camp is focused upon students Grades 5-9, this exceptional camp teaches local history, team work and the passage of time through archaeology. Students and adults may come for a day or spend all four days with us! Archaeologist Elizabeth Hoag, master teacher Rosemary Nemeth and Dr. Ware Petznick guide campers through a fun and educational camp.

Cost? $50 per day or $40 for SHS Members. Not a member? you can join today as a 2019 member at and enjoy a discounted rate.

Place? This camp is based at the Shaker Historical Society's museum on South Park but will occur there as well as off site. Parents can drop off their children at the museum with a packed lunch and beverage at 10am and collect them at 3pm. All students should be vaccinnated for tetanus and their parents must complete a waiver, which may be found above.

The Green Lake - Shaker John Kneale Farmhouse site

The Lee - Shaker site

This site is also owned by the City of Shaker Heights. At the southern corner of Lee, Andover and Parkland, and just west of Green Lake, our Shaker Dig camp discovered hex tile, bricks, nails, glass and other exciting finds to indicate settlement. As we researched the site further, we identified that "Shaker John" Kneale lived there iin the 19th century. Kneale was the closest neighbor to the Shakers along Lee Road. We also discovered his will, which described the rooms in his house. The significance of this archaeological site is great, considering most land here was developed by the Van Sweringens. Our public history dig enabled us to identify the site which was not previously on the State of Ohio Preservation Office's register of historic sites. It is now.

This parcel of land is now owned by the City of Shaker Heights, but it was once owned by the Van Sweringens and by the North Union Shakers before that. Most locals will recognize the site by the well and gate, which are both reconstructions on the property to pay homage to the Shakers of North Union whose Center Family lived along present day Lee Road. The site was also the location of the first Shaker Village school, Town Hall and Fire Department. When a City Councillor purchased a 1917 American La France pumper fire truck for the new Shaker Village in 1917, it was housed at this location.

Prior digs have discovered evidence of a 20th century greenhouse that had been on the property as well as sherds from a Victorian period tea cup in the Aesthetic Movement's bamboo style. Since the Shakers lived here during the Victorian period when this cup was made, it is interesting to wonder if that cup was used by the Shakers when it was new? Tis a gift to be simple, YES, but this cup is highly decorated!

Shaker Dig Camp