museum is open to the public Memorial Day through Columbus Day
Monday through Saturday (Closed Sundays)
10:00 to 4:30 (EST)
The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum is located within the perimeters of
the only active and functioning Shaker Community in the world. The museum
was first organized in 1931 by Sisters Iona Sedgley and Ethel Peacock
in hopes of educating the public about the "truths" of Shakerism. Thousands
of visitors have come to explore this unique and sacred place of work
Six of the 18 existing structures at Sabbathday Lake are open to the
public. Throughout these buildings there are twenty-seven exhibit rooms
which explore a continuum of over 200 years of Shaker heritage in the
Shaker Museum Tour Schedule and Description
We are pleased to offer our visitors guided tours of the premises at
the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village. These tours provide valuable insights
into the Maine Shaker heritage and culture of the past as well as the
Introductory Tour: 75 minutes
* Available Memorial Day through Columbus Day
*Adults $6.00; Children, ages 6 - 12: $2.00; under 6: free
Extended Tour: 2 hours
* Available Memorial Day through Columbus Day
* Adults: $7.50; Children, ages 6 - 12: $2.75; under 6: free
TOURS WILL BEGIN AT
* 10:30 a.m.
* 11:30 a.m.
* 12:30 p.m.
* 1:30 p.m.
* 2:30 p.m.
* 3:15 p.m. (Introductory Tour Only)
GROUP TOURS OF THE MUSEUM ARE AVAILABLE BY ADVANCE RESERVATION.
About the Tours
Tours depart from the Museum Reception Center, which is housed in the
1850 Boys' Shop. The 1794 Meetinghouse, designed by Brother Moses Johnson,
is the architectural jewel of the Village and continues to be used by
the Shakers for their current worship services. The exhibits in the
upper chambers of this building explore the organization of the Shaker
Church and describe developments in the Maine Shakers' lifestyles, architecture,
furniture and costume into the eve of the Civil War.
From Memorial Day through Columbus Day of the 2000 Summer Season, the
Shaker Museum is featuring an exhibit entitled "They Do Not From the
Truth Depart, In Word or Work in Hand or Heart: Sabbathday Lake in 1800,
1900, 2000". This exhibit highlights Sabbathday Lake Shaker history
at the turn of three centuries. Shaker membership, forms of outreach,
means of industry, as well as architectural developments are comparatively
examined to survey the continuum of Shaker life at Sabbathday Lake.
Historical written accounts, photographs and artifacts are used to highlight
aspects of this Shaker history. This exhibit is offered as part of the
Introductory Tour and Extended Tour during the regular summer tour schedule.
The final destination of the Introductory Tour is a special gallery
in the Ministry's Shop which will feature an exhibit focused on the
lives and contributions of Elder William Dumont and Eldress Lizzie Noyes.
The Extended Tour continues from the Ministry Shop into the 1821 Sisters'
Shop. Once the location of nearly 20 work rooms for dozens of Shaker
Sisters, it is still used by the Sabbathday Lake Shakers for the production
of handmade goods. Exhibits in the Sisters' Shop survey the wide array
of goods, such as candy and comestibles, along with sewing notions and
other "fancy goods" that the Shakers manufactured for sale during the
Victorian Era and into the 1960s. In this building, many visitors find
themselves surprised by the Shakers interest in progressive technology.
Telephones, electricity, central heating and even the automatic washing
machines (the earliest example built from two and a half tons of granite!)
attest to their belief in modernization and technology throughout their
history. In this same building, visitors will have the opportunity to
view the "headquarters" for the modern culinary herb and herbal tea
business. Workers pack herbs as they have been packed by the Shakers
for nearly 200 years.
The Extended Tour concludes in the 1816 Spinhouse, once primarily used
as a manufacturing center for the Shakers' woolen goods as well as other
Village activities. In the 1998 Summer season, the 1816 Spinhouse will
feature an installation titled The Fruitage Will Never Fail: The Sabbathday
Lake Shakers' Apple Orchards. This exhibit will highlight the historical
development and commercial viability of the Sabbathday Shakers' 35 acre
apple orchard from the 1830s into the present day. Special emphasis
has been placed upon the management of the apple orchard under the direction
of Brother Delmer C. Wilson (1873-1961). The exhibit also explores the
industries which developed as a result of the orchard, including the
sale of produce, cider, apple sauce, and honey. A wide variety of artifacts
and historic photographs are used in conjunction with original research
from the Shaker Library to convey the Shakers' widespread contributions
to commercial agriculture in Maine.
During our scheduled season, we welcome all visitors to the Sabbathday
Lake Shaker Village to share in the experience of this active site of
work and worship. We request that all visitors remember that this site
is a home and to respect the privacy and work schedules of the Shaker
Community. With the exceptions of the Shaker Store and Museum Reception
Center, access to any building is restricted by guided tour only.
The Museum Reception Center and Shaker Store are open to the public,
free of charge, during the regularly scheduled season. Come and browse
through a unique selection of books, Shaker-made goods, locally-produced
handicrafts, woodenware, baskets, and the wide selection of culinary
herbs and medicinal teas which are still packaged by the United Society
of Shakers. The 1850 Boys' Shop (also the Museum Reception Center) features
the exhibit "Come Little Children, Come to Zion: Growing Up at Shaker
Village". This exhibit was created with the interests and curiosities
of all young people in mind. Come explore unique aspects of nineteenth
century living and learn about the lives of Shaker children in Maine.
This exhibit is open to visitors at no cost.
The Shaker Store, Shaker Library, Museum Reception Center and rest rooms
are all wheel chair accessible.Please contact the museum with any further
Meals are not available at the Village. A wide selection of restaurants
are located nearby in the towns of Gray, New Gloucester, Poland, Lewiston,
Museum Research Facilities
We encourage any scholar, researcher, author, or Shaker enthusiast to
explore the vast wealth of information, history, and culture represented
at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village. The collection at the Sabbathday
Lake Shaker Museum is available year round to researchers and scholars
by appointment only.
This Museum is the largest repository of Maine Shaker culture. Fine
examples of furniture, woodenware, oval boxes, tin and metal wares,
tools and technology, "fancy" sales goods, textiles and costume, visual
arts, as well as medicinal and herbal products are among the 13,000
artifacts currently housed in the Sabbathday Lake collection. Although
the collection represents every Shaker Community known to have existed,
special emphasis has been placed upon preserving the heritage of the
Maine Shaker Communities, including Sabbathday Lake, Alfred, Gorham
and Poland Hill.
Museum research appointments should be made with Leonard L. Brooks,
Director of the Shaker Library and Shaker Museum.
707 Shaker Road
New Gloucester, ME 04260
Telephone: (207) 926-4597
Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday through Friday 8:30 to 4:30 (EST)