Linda Lane Read, left, visits with Linda Carr Harmon at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village on Dec. 17. The pair were overjoyed to be reunited after developing a strong bond at Shaker Village approximately 60 years ago. Patti Mikkelsen / For Lakes Region Weekly

Heartfelt reunion between old friends at Shaker Village

Linda Carr Harmon and Linda Lane Read have connections on lots of levels. Obviously, the first is sharing the same first name. Other ties include living in Yarmouth at one point in their lives and pursuing careers in nursing. But their most compelling bond is their link to Shaker Village, where the pair had a joyous reunion Dec. 17.

Challenging family circumstances led Read to take up residence at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in 1945 at age 6, where she would spend the next 14 years. She graduated from New Gloucester High School in 1958 and enrolled in Maine Medical Center’s three-year training program in the fall of 1960. She graduated in 1963 and became a registered nurse.

At a young age, Harmon would come to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village to visit her aunt, Sister Frances Carr, a longtime Shaker, for the whole summer. Here, she would strike up a friendship with Read, née Lane.

“I thought the sun rose and set on her,” Harmon said at a luncheon in the Shaker’s Dwelling House dining room earlier this month. She added, “I’m just agog here with memories.”

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village Director Michael Graham said he and the Shakers have been searching for Read for decades. A mutual friend set up the reunion by email. Graham reported, “It was big news when it hit here.”

The guest of honor was welcomed with open arms by the dozen people in attendance. Surprised by all of the attention she was garnering, Read asked, “Why did I become a celebrity?” Brother Arnold Hadd replied, “Because you were one of the sweetest children they ever raised here.”

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Her work ethic was legendary. Graham said to her, “I’ve always known about how hard you worked when you lived here.” Read noted that she learned to sew at Shaker Village, and she reached the ability to make about a dozen aprons each week after school.

Nostalgic stories were regaled over the course of the four-hour visit.

“If the walls could talk,” Read said, to which Graham added, thank goodness they don’t.

Udderly Amazing

Explore the dairy barns at Pineland Farms and learn about the lifecycle of their resident Holstein cows at the family program Udderly Amazing from 10-11 a.m. Jan. 15. Farmhands will talk about the part that cows play in the production of some favorite treats such as milk, cheese and ice cream. Organizers advise participants to dress warmly for this outdoor activity.

The number of participants is limited. Go to shop.pinelandfarms.org/collections/all-classes-events to select a time slot and number of tickets. Directions to the Education Barn are provided, along with Pineland Farms’ COVID-19 policies.

Questions? Contact the Education Department at 650-3031 or [email protected] For storm cancellations, see storm center WCSH6.

Help fight hunger

For the month of January, New Gloucester’s Community Food Pantry will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable Fight Hunger Bag at the Hannaford store located at 130 Shaker Road. Bags also can be purchased through Hannaford-To-Go during the month of January to benefit the food pantry.

Open house canceled

The regular monthly History Barn Open House has been canceled for Saturday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day.

Patti Mikkelsen can be contacted at [email protected]

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