Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

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Exhibit Brochures

 

The Sabbathday Lake Shakers and
The Rickers of the Poland Spring Hotel:


A Scrapbook History



Above: A view of the Poland Spring Hotel taken by Brother Delmer C. Wilson around 1910. Collection of the United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc.


The Land Swap: 1794

During the 1780s, the Shakers established two settlements in Maine -- one at Sabbathday Lake (West Gloucester) and the other in Alfred. Jabez Ricker and his family were neighbors to the Alfred Shakers. The Shakers were interested in converting Jabez Ricker, since his property contained the only millstream near the Shaker Village. After several unsuccessful pleas, Elder John Barnes went to Jabez and said: "Jabez Ricker, God says you must give the Shakers your farm." The story continued "Jabez … had the fear of God before his eyes. He answered quite humbly, "Well, if God says so it must be so." Then with little more spirit, he added, "But you shall pay me for it.""


Above: A view of the Wentworth Ricker Inn as pictured in "Poland Spring Centennial: A Souvenir," copyright 1895 by Hiram Ricker & Sons, South Poland, Maine. Collection of the United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc.


In exchange for his Alfred property, the Shakers provided Jabez with a homestead in Poland, Maine that once had belonged to a Shaker convert. Jabez moved his family to the new property, just north of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker settlement. The Rickers’ new home was situated on a major thoroughfare that led into the Portland area and beyond. In 1797, the Rickers opened the Wentworth Ricker Inn and offered lodging to the farmers and herdsmen who traveled back and forth to the markets.

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Prepared for the Ministry’s Shop Exhibit, Summer 2001
Written by Michael S. Graham, curator.

© The United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Inc.
707 Shaker Road
New Gloucester, Maine 04260
(207) 926-4597

 

Full text of this Exhibit Brochure.

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