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The Shakers

This information taken from the History of Androscoggin County

 

In November 1783 Elisha Pote, Nathan Freeman and Enoch Waite came into Thompson pond plantation and held meetings. They were gifted speakers and singers and many embraced their faith. A meeting house was built also mills in New Gloucester. By industry and prudence the Shakers acquired much real estate. For awhile they retained their property as before conversion but soon after it was held in common. Others joined them from Buckfield. They exchanged the lands on Ricker Hill for lands in Alfred. J . M Libby says of the Poland or Upper Family in 1872: "They came in 1819 exchanged their lands in Gorham for those they own in Poland with Andrew Twombly and Josh. Berry and bought other lands. The family at first numbered 50, but at present something less than 40. Of the original 50 only five are now living. Elder Samuel Pote came with the family to Poland. The present elder is Nehemiah Trull. Their chife reason for leaving Gorham was the scarcity of wood and timber, large quantities of which they found here. The stone mansion begun 12 years ago but not completed has cost $15,000 and when finished will cost $20,000. They value their property in Poland at $30,000. Agriculture forms the chief occupation and is carried to a high degree of perfection. Gardening grape-culture and orcharding each receive considerable attention. In recent years this society has not flourished and their farm has been abandoned and sold.