Down East 2013 ©
Fresh snow blankets the rolling hills north of Portland, just where the suburbs give way to a more rural landscape. These red barns are part of a tidy cluster of buildings that include a museum, a library, a meetinghouse, and a shop, where baskets, yarns, herbal teas, and seasonings are sold. The goods are crafted by the village’s three residents, the sole members of a Christian sect that was founded in England in 1747 and moved to America during the Revolutionary War. At its peak, the organization counted five thousand members in eighteen communal settlements from Maine to Indiana. Pacifists and strict adherents of celibacy, members embrace a life of simplicity, shunning worldly pursuits, but they are not cut off from society. Indeed, from spring through fall, they welcome visitors, for whom they demonstrate crafts like woodcarving, weaving, and blacksmithing, and offer guided tours and nature walks.
If you can identify this pastoral scene, send us a note at P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843; whip off an email to email@example.com; or post a comment bekiw. We’ll feature our favorite letter in an upcoming issue — and send the winner a Down East wall calendar.
Photographed by Susan Cole Kelly