It is a common misconception that
the Shakers are dead. Often times, more focus is on their furniture and architecture than to the people themselves. In
many ways the remaining Shakers have been enveloped by the myth which surrounds them. However, the Shakers are not a thing
of the past. After the Canterbury
community closed in 1992, the Sabbathday Lake
community located in New Gloucester, Maine was left with the distinction of being the only remaining active Shaker community.
The residents at Sabbathday Lake
are aware of the precarious position which they hold, but they see no reason to dwell endlessly on these facts. There has
long been a Shaker Prophecy that told of dwindling numbers but spoke of keeping order and faith.
As for the future, the Believers
have made an effort to ensure that if they don’t survive their ideas and beliefs will. The Shakers at Sabbathday Lake in partnership with several
conservation groups has been working to purchase the development rights to the Shaker land in New Gloucester. This will ensure
that even if the Shakers no longer live there, the land can not be sub-divided or sold for development. This means that their
land will always be set aside for agriculture and general enjoyment. In the meantime, however, the Shakers at Sabbathday Lake continue to go about their
normal lives practicing their beliefs and educating the world about Shakerism.