YARMOUTH – Yarmouth Historical Society’s 2007 public program series will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 19, with “In Time and Eternity: Maine Shakers in the Industrial Age, 1870s-1920s” in the American Legion Log Cabin, Main Street.

Brother Arnold S. Hadd will talk about the Shakers, their homes, work and religion during a transition period in the church’s life, with photographic images from the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Library and Museum.

Hadd has been a member of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community in New Gloucester for 30 years. He is a trustee of the community as well as being the village’s printer and chief caretaker of the Shaker livestock.

The first Shakers, or the United Society of Believers, led by Ann Lee, came to America from Manchester, England, in 1774 seeking a place to freely practice their religious beliefs.

By the 1830s 18 communities were established in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia and Florida.

The Shakers developed industries to help support their communities, including packaging garden seeds, raising and processing medicinal herbs and the production of brooms and brushes, chairs and stools, dairy products, storage boxes, preserved foods, women’s cloaks and “fancy goods.”

In their adaptation of technologies and manufacture of innovative products, the Shakers achieved a high level of economic independence and self-sufficiency. Shakerism peaked in the decades before the Civil War, as America industrialized and the country expanded west, and today it is the only active Shaker Community in the country.

The free program is open to the public. For information, call the historical society office at 846-6259 or e-mail yarmouthhistorical [email protected]

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