title Highland Cattle World

The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community

The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community, located in the town of New Gloucester, Maine, was founded in 1783.  The founders were homesteaders, farmers and tradesmen.  From the beginning farming was key to the survival of the Community and cattle were the primary farm animals.  Cattle provided dairy products, meat and the labor force on the farm from plowing to logging.

As time progressed the Shakers began to import cattle, primarily from England, to improve dairy production.  Oxen gave way to horses around the year 1900 and the dairy herd was sold off in the 1953. Husbandry gave way to agriculture and the great barns remained empty of cattle for over twenty years.

Beginning in the early 1970s Brother Theodore Johnson began to revitalize the farm.  He brought back the raising of sheep and later to limited extent cattle. 

Group of highlands

Cow with calf

Building on this success the Brothers began to once again raise beef cattle and hogs for our home use in a consistent manner in the late 1980s. 

In 2001 we located our first Highland at a farm here in Maine.  As the owner told us, “you Shakers are an oddity and so are these cows maybe they will take the pressure off of you.”  Sure enough Mr. Johnson was right!  Today the tourists take far more pictures of our cattle than they do of us.


Presently we have nine in our fold and expect to have four news calves in January.  At this point we are raising the cattle primarily for our own use, but we hope to be able to have enough to sell in the near future.  The climate in Maine is nearly ideal for raising Highlands and we are proud members of the Maine Highland Cattle Association.  We welcome anyone interested in seeing or learning more about this amazing breed to visit us.


The Sabbathday Lake Shakers
707 Shaker Road
New Gloucester, ME  04260
Telephone – 1-207-926-4865
Web site – www.MaineShakers.com
e-mail – SDLSHAKERS@AOL.com


Red Calf

New calf lying in sawdust

Red cow with new calf

Cow eating hay

Cow with suckling calf

Cow with calf


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For stunning images of the
Shaker Village at Sabbathday Lake
visit Simone Haeusler's photographic website

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