Letter to the editor: Shaker museum sharing videos of forum speakers

From the Portland Press Herald, Nov. 16, 2015

Full-length videos of three talks in the Friends of Alfred Shaker Museum’s recent series of speakers — the Sid Emery Memorial Forum — are posted on our website at We encourage teachers to incorporate them in their course curricula and the interested public to view them.

The series of talks started Aug. 3 and ended Oct. 25. It included talks by:

  • Anita Sanchez, author of Mr. Lincoln’s Chair, who discussed how the Shakers obtained conscientious objector status from President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.
  • Richard Judd, co-editor of the new Historical Atlas of Maine and a professor at the University of Maine, who related the history of the book and talked about a “renaissance of Maine history” since the 1990s.
  • Native American historian and artist George Neptune of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, who tells the stories of early peoples in Maine and used his own artistic baskets in weaving the tale. He is an educator at Maine’s Abbe Museum.

Unfortunately, filming of the first talk in the series was unproductive because of technical difficulties.

That talk was by James Harmon, director of the Sanford International Film Festival and teacher at Sanford High School. He described his developing interest in filmmaking since childhood and how Sanford established the festival.

The Friends of the Alfred Shaker Museum are grateful to Harmon’s student film club and to Patrick Bonsant of Saco River TV for filming the presentations in the series.

We also thank the Maine Humanities Council, Kennebunk Savings Bank Foundation, Alfred Historical Society, and two private donors for supporting the series. We also appreciate the collaboration of the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society in co-hosting these events.

Barbara Carlson
President, Friends of Alfred Shaker Museum

Shaker Dinner — A Rousing Success!


Thanks to everyone who attended our first authentic Shaker Dinner on June 7. (Extra thanks to those who helped serve, clean, etc.!) This completely sold-out event was a rousing success! In addition, guests were invited to stay for a screening of our film “Simple Gifts” and to tour this year’s exhibit, “The Shaker Kitchen.”

Here are some of the comments we heard about the Shaker Dinner (and about the Museum):

“I had no idea what to expect.”

“The cucumber salad was my favorite. Thanks for the souvenir recipe booklet. Now I can make the salad at home!”

“Who knew this great place was here?!”

Our “Welcome” Policy

Alfred Shaker Museum holds a series of public events each year that are free to the public. No admission is charged to visit the museum or to most of the museum’s public events.

As a young museum, though, we need help to renovate and maintain our building, build our collections, and sponsor such events. So, donations are gratefully accepted, and we rely on many talented volunteers to help us reach our goals. We also are trying to grow our endowment fund, which aims for $100,000 to support operations of the museum.

The Friends of Alfred Shaker Museum are grateful to a number of foundations in Maine which have supported our efforts over years. Our thanks go to:

  • Davis Family Foundation
  • Narragansett Number One Foundation
  • Kennebunk Savings Bank Foundation
  • Maine Arts Commission
  • Maine Humanities Council

We appreciate their roles in preserving, protecting, and enhancing Maine’s cultural life.

To all, a hearty thank you.

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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