Off of Route 26 in the town of New Gloucester is a tiny village stuck in time that is home to the only two Shakers left in the world.

The Sabbathday Lake Shakers were established in Maine in 1783 and built their village on 1800 acres of land overlooking the lake on rolling hills. Today, 17 buildings still stand, with some of them original buildings from the 1783 founding. The village is still a working community with a tree farm, apple orchard, vegetable gardens, hay fields, and a variety of livestock.

At their peak, the Shaker Village membership was 150 people. Shakers however are celibate and new laws in the 1960's prohibited child adoptions for religious groups, their primary source of new members. On January 2, 2017, Sister Frances Carr passed away at the age of 89, leaving only two remaining Shakers at the village and in the entire world, Brother Arnold Hadd, age 58 and Sister June Carpenter, 77.

 

Even though there are only two Shakers remaining, any adult is welcome to join the community by accepting the Shaker way of life. This video featuring Brother Arnold and the recently passed Sister Francis describes the history of the village and what it means to be a Shaker.

You're welcome to visit the Shaker Village and learn about its long history. You can get more info on their official website.