Text by David L. Richards, former Curator of Collections at the Sabbathday Lake, Maine, Shaker Museum.
Images from the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Library, most taken by Brother Delmer Wilson (1873-1961); and from the Androscoggin County Historical Society.
Original 1986 exhibit at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum funded in part by the Maine Humanities Council.
As the older and larger Shaker communities declined in numbers, Maine Shakers in 1872-1918 constituted a solid percentage of the national population of the whole Shaker Society. However, their lives were not the lives lived by the founding members of 18th century Maine Shakerism.
The exhibit addresses a number of issues, including: Who were these Shakers? What were the new occupations in the Maine Shaker villages? Why were there so many Shakers in Maine? How was the Shakers' built environment changing? How were the Shakers interacting differently with "the world's people"?