• 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,…

  • Buildings & History

    Nettie Ricker Art Gallery

    There has been an art gallery in the Maine State Building since it was re-assembled on the grounds of the historic Poland Spring Resort. Even in Chicago the building had some spectacular art pieces by some well-known artists of the day including Scott Leighton and Harriston Bird Brown. Beginning in 1895, the Poland Spring Art Gallery housed some of the finest artists and for a mere hotel art gallery commanded a great deal of respect and was a sought after venue for many artists. Some of the artists included Walter Dean, D.D. Coombs. JAS Monks, Abbott Graves, Leon Dabo, Charles H. Woodbury and Nettie Ricker. The director of the gallery…

  • Buildings & History

    All Souls Chapel

    The story of the chapel begins in the 1880s, almost three decades before the first trowel of dirt was turned by toddler Garret A. Hobart III. The head waiter, Julius Gassauser, was a priest in training and he and members of the staff were desirous of a proper place to hold religious services. Although they had use of the music hall in the Poland Spring House or other places, they wanted something was dedicated to holding religious services for both Protestants and Catholics. The Ricker family agreed to the request and the staff began to fundraise. In 1896, Sadie Ricker, the fifth child of Hiram and Janette Bolster Ricker, began to…

  • Buildings & History

    Maine State Building

    The Maine State Building is a reminder of Maine’s industrial and economic past but is also representative of one of the great milestones in our country’s history. Constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893, the building was designed by Charles Sumner Frost to serve as the state’s entry to the fairgrounds. The design is categorized as Queen Anne’s style and is an amalgamation of several different architectural designs of the period. Constructed of granite from 11 different quarries throughout the state, slate from Monson and wood harvested and milled in the state, the building represented several of Maine’s most important natural resources. In Chicago, the building…

  • Buildings & History

    Poland Spring History

    The story of Poland Spring begins in the late eighteenth century when Jabez Ricker moved his family from Alfred Maine to Bakerstown, present day Poland. Jabez had owned land adjacent to the Shaker community in Alfred and when they pressed him to acquire his land, he relented and made the land swap. Shortly after the Ricker’s arrival in Bakerstown, some travelers knocked on the door looking for a place to stay. In 1794 the family began operating an inn on the property and by 1797 opened a brand new building – the Wentworth Ricker Inn. Thus the beginning of a tradition of operating an inn on the grounds that continues…