Buildings & History

Poland Spring Bottling Museum

A REFRESHING REVELATION

Before Poland Spring was a famous spring water brand, it was a celebrated inn. The Ricker family built the inn way back in 1797, but it was Hiram Ricker (grandson of the first Ricker settlers) who discovered the fresh taste of the spring water at the original source. The water was so refreshing, he drank from the spring for a whole week straight (we don’t blame him). Legend has it that he believed the water benefited his health, and just like that, a wonder tonic was born.

Ricker began sharing his fresh-tasting spring water with friends and neighbors, selling clay jugs for 5 cents a gallon. Soon, word spread throughout Maine of the water’s incredible taste — and a regional brand was born. Water bottled from the original Poland Spring source became available all throughout the Northeast by the barrel or the bottle. (That’s a lot of greatness going around!)

THE TASTE OF VICTORY

The Poland Spring brand started earning accolades across the country, first earning recognition at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, then winning the grand prize at the St. Louis Fair. These awards drove the brand to international fame, leading to offices in London, Paris, Cairo and Manila. More in demand than ever, Poland Spring Natural Spring Water became the drink of choice on Pullman cars, transatlantic ships — and even zeppelins! (AKA giant blimps).

1906 INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

Demand for bottled water was growing. And quickly. To keep up, the Ricker family constructed a permanent bottling facility — the largest and best-equipped in America (way back then). Knowing the tourism potential of their property and their beautiful home state, the Ricker family helped establish the Maine Tourism Association. This led to great conservation efforts in the wildlife areas surrounding their home and throughout the state (way to go, Ricker family!).

Today these buildings reflect a continued dedication to the growth of Poland Spring Brand Natural Spring Water. After a three-year restoration project that began in 1998, the Bottling facility and Springhouse were faithfully restored and transformed into an informative museum open to the public.

Owned by Nestle Waters North America
Tours by Poland Spring Preservation Society