Shaker group portrait, ca. 1893

Contributed by United Society of Shakers


Pictured from left to right: back row: Sisters Ada Cummings, Nellie Love and Sarah Fletcher middle row: Sisters Amanda Stickney, Elizabeth Haskell, Aurelia Mace, Eldress Harriet Goodwin and Laura Love; front row: Fannie Simpson and Lizzie Bailey.

Jennie Eastman was a photographer from Boston who visited the community on several occasions. According to the Sabbathday Lake Church Journal, on this day she photographed the Sisters individually, as well as in a group.

Having subjects glance in different directions was a common convention of Victorian photography.

Note the habits worn by the Sisters, particularly the variety of designs and patterns. Shaker dress was neither drab nor entirely uniform. Especially colorful were kerchiefs like the one worn by Eldress Harriet.

By this time, however, most Sisters preferred to wear a yoke over the shoulders rather than a kerchief. Another alteration of the costume took place in the mid-1890s when wearing the bonnet became optional.

View/Add Comments

About This Item

  • Title: Shaker group portrait, ca. 1893
  • Creator: Eastman, Jennie
  • Creation Date: circa 1893
  • Subject Date: 1889-08-15
  • Local Name: Sabbathday Lake
  • Town: New Gloucester
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Slide from a photograph
  • Local Code: ITE 12
  • Object Type: Image

For more information about this item, contact:

United Society of Shakers
707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260
(207) 926-4597

Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.