New Gloucester is a town in Cumberland County, incorporated on March 8, 1774 from New Gloucester Plantation.
Settled in 1738, the inhabitants abandoned the town during the French and Indian Wars (1741-1751) but returned to the rich farmland to reestablish the town.
Settled in 1793 by the United Society of True Believers, the Shakers made their home at Sabbath Day Lake Village, or Shaker Village, near the town line with Poland on Maine Route 26. The 1700 acre community has dissipated, though its buildings and a library with documents and audio tapes survive.
The Shaker Village Nature Walk follows old logging roads and trails along the eastern edge of the village. It leads to Loon's Point on Sabbath Day Lake and Aurelia's Cascade, named for Shaker teacher Sister Aurelia Gay Mace (1835-1910), who took her students to the waterfall for some of their lessons in the late 1800's.
Split by Interstate 495, the town's eastern portion contains the major villages of New Gloucester and Upper New Gloucester, along with the Royal River on its way to Casco Bay.
From Maine: An Encyclopedia (www.themaineencyclopedia.com)
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