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United Society of Shakers Facts

The Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake was founded in 1783. It was originally the smallest of the shaker communities, but it is actually the only one remaining today. The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum was begun in 1931 to preserve and show Shaker tradition when the population in Maine was one of the religion's last

The Shaker Library is the leading authority on Shaker history and culture and covers their tradition from the group's founding to the present day. The library contains over 3,000 volumes concerning the Shakers and photographic records from all of the old Shaker communities. Over 8,000 journals, dairies, personal and business records and other manuscripts are stored in the Library as well. The Shaker Collection also comprises of a collection of ephemera, periodicals and clippings as well as 227 reels of microfilm. 210 maps, as well as recordings of Shaker music and oral histories can also be found in the Library. Two separate collections, in the Radical Collection and the Herbal Medicine and Agriculture Collection, are housed there as well.

The community at Sabbathday Lake consists of eighteen buildings on 1,800 acres of land. All of these buildings are actively used in daily life of the community. The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum incorporates parts of six of these eighteen buildings, providing a total of 27 exhibit rooms. There is also a Museum Visitor Center and gift shop. The Shaker community also maintains farmland, orchards, pasture and other natural commodities. There is also the Shaker Library, which was began in 1882 and is housed in the 1880 schoolhouse.