'Tis a Gift to be Simple: Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

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    Welcome to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

    Picture of Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine, is home to the last active community of followers of the Shaker faith. As of 2006 when I visited, there were only four remaining Shakers. As of 2011, there are only three. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in New Gloucester, Maine

    Whether or not you know much about the Shakers, you've probably heard the words of the Shaker hymn: "'Tis a gift to be simple." Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine, is home to the last active Shaker community, and a visit will allow you to appreciate the Shaker ideals of self-sufficiency and simplicity.

    I took these pictures of Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village on an early autumn day in 2006, and I hope they will provide you with a glimpse of the Shaker way of life. As of 2011, there are only three remaining members of the Sabbathday Lake community, and with their devotion to celibacy and inability to attract many modern recruits, the Shakers are an endangered sect.

    Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village and its museum and store are open to the public Monday through Saturday from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. The 1,800-acre complex is located just off Route 26 in western Maine.

    These...MORE pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

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    An Early Autumn Visit

    Early Autumn Day at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine We visited the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine on an early autumn day in 2006. The last remaining active Shaker community was established here in 1794. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

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    Working the Land

    The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is located on 1,800 acres in western Maine.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is located on 1,800 acres in western Maine and consists of 18 buildings, a tree farm, an apple orchard, vegetable and herb gardens, hay fields and pastures for sheep and livestock. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

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    Shaker Dwelling

    This brick building serves as the living quarters for three remaining Shakers at Sabbathday Lake.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine This brick building serves as the living quarters for the three remaining Shakers at Maine's Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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    Shaker Store

    The Shaker Store at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine, is open to the public.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine The Shaker Store at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine, is open to the public Monday through Saturday from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

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    Shaker Antiques and Handcrafted Products

    Inside the Shaker Store, you'll find items handcrafted by the remaining Shakers and Shaker antiques.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine Self-sufficiency has always been part of the Shaker way of life. Inside the Shaker Store, you'll find items handcrafted by the remaining Shakers, along with dried herbs, books and Shaker antiques. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

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    Tour the Village

    Guided tours of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village are available. The Village also has a museum.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine Guided tours of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village are available Monday through Saturday from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. The Village also has a museum that is open seasonally. There is no charge to visit the Shaker Store and walk the grounds. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Ancient Breed

    Picture of Highland cattle at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine The Shakers in Maine raise Highland cattle, an ancient Scottish breed known for their shaggy pelts. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

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    Communal in Life and Death

    A stone wall surrounds the Shaker Cemetery.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine A stone wall surrounds the Shaker Cemetery, located just off Route 26 on Shaker Road in New Gloucester, Maine. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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    An Endangered Sect

    Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village cemetery photo.
    ••• Pictures of the Last Active Shaker Community in Maine With their devotion to celibacy and inability to win many modern converts, the simple marker reading "Shakers" at the Village's communal cemetery may one day speak not only for those buried here, but for their faith. © 2006 Kim Knox Beckius, licensed to About.com.

    These pictures from an early autumn visit to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village provide a glimpse of the life of America's last remaining Shakers.