Maine’s Shaker roots began in Alfred around 1793. It was at Alfred that Shaker Elder Joseph Brackett wrote what is perhaps the best-known Shaker song, “Simple Gifts,” in 1848. The composer Aaron Copland later made this melody famous in his the score of his ballet “Appalachian Spring.” “Simple Gifts” is now the Official Town Song of Alfred, Maine.
The Shakers at Alfred farmed and tended their orchards, gardens, dairy, kitchen, and shops. In time, hundreds of Shakers called Alfred home.
Shaker life is valued for its simplicity, respect for nature, and prowess in art, furniture design, architecture, agriculture, music, and invention, and for its philosophy of life. The Shakers sought harmony in all things.
In 1931, the remaining Alfred Shakers merged their community with the sister group to the north, Sabbathday Lake. Sabbathday Lake is the last Shaker community in Maine and the last home anywhere of living Shakers.
Local residents decided that southern Maine and the town should not lose its Shaker history. They formed the Friends of the Alfred Shaker Museum, and renovated a Shaker carriage house as a museum and educational center. FASM makes the Museum and its resources available to residents, tourists, scholars, and schoolchildren in order that the might learn and value the rich history that is still present in local memory.
The Alfred Shaker Museum is open Wednesdays & Saturdays from 1-4 PM (or by appointment) from May till November. The Friends of the Museum mount exhibits, hold events and craft workshops, run a museum shop, build the museum’s collection of Shaker artifacts and resources as well as its library, and create school programs.
Visit, and as the Shakers would have done…
We Make You Kindly Welcome.
Our 2023 Season
The museum opens for the season on May 20, 2023 from 1-4 PM. At 2 PM, the winner of the Student Essay Contest will read the prize-winning essay.
The theme of this year’s exhibit is “Shaker Children.”
2023 Events and Workshops
Our 2023 Events and Workshops are here.
If you or someone you know might be interested in teaching a workshop at the Museum this season, please contact Linda Aaskov at firstname.lastname@example.org. The workshop could be a one-day workshop, or span multiple sessions.
Speakers’ Series Events
Our Speakers’ Series events are here.
Looking for interested individuals willing to train to become Docents at the Alfred Shaker Museum. You will be able to shadow current docents & we will supply materials to help, and we’ll train you.
Call Linda to volunteer at 207-490-5709. Leave a message; if she does not answer, she’ll get back to you.
We look forward to meeting you. Tell your friends!!
Become a Friend of the Museum
Won’t you please consider becoming a Friend of the Alfred Shaker Museum this year? More member-volunteers are needed, and many hands make light work. If you would like to become a Museum docent and share the history of the Alfred Shakers with the public, we’ll gladly train you. Contact the Museum for details.
The Alfred Shaker Museum is always looking for donations of Alfred Shaker items. Contact Linda Aaskov, Museum curator, at email@example.com.