Shaker Village on Route 26 in Poland Spring, Maine is one of the last surviving communities depicting Shaker life in America.
There are 17 buildings of which 4 are open to the public. The guided tours include a 1794 meetinghouse with all the original wood remaining . It is the only Shaker house left.
The Shakers are known for creating proportions of elegance with clean lines which provide function to the tools, buildings, and furniture that they create. A large collection of photographs and manuscripts giving a history of this religious sect are available in the library.
Every item of furniture the Shakers designed and made has a special purpose and there are no other decorative details. The plaster walls are bare and stark and pictures in particular were forbidden conforming to the high standards that if it is present there must be a need and function. The need for function in the Shaker designs is apparent in the beginner woodworking plans.
The Shaker mindset of “no nonsense” belief that beauty is derived from order readily shows in their furniture designs and their classic construction.
The Old Meeting House on the Hill in Yarmouth, Mass. is an outstanding example of early Shaker meetinghouse architecture and was build in 1796. Of note were the unusual blunt pointed windows at their tops .Above the square belfry the windows provide the same marked interest. Many ships have found their way home by using the 100 ft. spire as a landmark as they entered the harbor.