Museum Opening This Saturday and Essay Contest Results

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, contact Mary Lee Dunn Maguire at 207-324-7088 or

Museum Curator Linda Aaskov adjusts a display of Shaker cookbooks.

Tabletop display
Tabletop shows typical Shaker kitchen implements.

Alfred Shaker Museum Opens Saturday, Massabesic Pupil Wins Essay Prize

Alfred Shaker Museum opens for the summer season at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. The day’s events include showing a new exhibit on “The Shaker Kitchen” and holding the awards ceremony for its recent student essay contest.

The Friends of Alfred Shaker Museum (FASM) will present prizewinner Benjamin Levesque of Lyman, a seventh-grade student at Massabesic Middle School, a check for $100 and a framed print of a scene on Shaker Hill by artist Bob Arsenault of Springvale. Benjamin also will read his winning essay, titled “How the Shakers Earned a Living in Alfred,” during the ceremony. The ceremony will start at 1:30 p.m. Light refreshments will follow. The public is welcomed to attend.

The contest’s judges were Elizabeth DeWolfe, Harland Eastman, and Al Carlson.

Visitors to the museum also may view the “Simple Gifts” video which FASM premiered last year and which tells the history of Alfred’s Shaker community, the first one in Maine. Shakerism arrived in town in the early 1780s. At one time during the 1800s, there were nearly two dozen Shaker villages in the eastern U.S.; now only one remains and sustains the last three Shakers. It too is located in Maine, at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester. When Alfred’s Shaker village was closed and sold in 1931, its last Shakers — 21 of them — moved to Sabbathday Lake and revitalized that community.

Patrons also may study the large mural in the Morrison Community Room, which artist Sandra Howe of Cornish painted for FASM in 2011. It depicts Alfred’s Shaker village on a summer day in 1875 and captures many of the details that allowed the community to thrive for so long.

The museum’s new exhibit will display Shaker kitchen items, cookbooks, and photographs, and will describe their food ways. In coordination with the exhibit, Curator Linda Aaskov has planned a Shaker meal for the interested public to take place at the museum on Sunday, June 7. Tickets are $25 a person and seating is limited. Tickets are available at the museum or at DeWolfe and Woods Antiquarian Books on the village green in Alfred. The catered meal will be made from authentic Shaker recipes.

The museum shop will be open on May 16 for all of your gift-giving needs.

From now into November, the museum will open to the public on Saturday and Wednesday afternoons from 1 until 4 p.m. or by appointment. See the museum’s web site at

Museum Hours:

Museum Hours: 1 PM – 4 PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and by appointment.

Closing for the season on November 11.

Admission: Free. Donations are gratefully accepted.

We are dog-friendly. Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome in our building.

Become a Friend of the Alfred Shaker Museum!

FASM meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 PM at the Alfred Shaker Museum. The public is invited to our meetings (unless announced otherwise).

We welcome new members! To join FASM, see our Become a Friend page.

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