Innkeeping at Poland Spring began in 1790 with an overnight
stagecoach stop. Guided by the Ricker family, the spot blossomed into an elaborate
resort that would host European royalty, American presidents, and the robber-baron
industrialists and financiers of the Northeast in the early part of this century.
Many came for the clean mountain air. Others came to take the waters of the nearby
spring--the same bottled water sold today under the Poland Spring name.
the years, neglect, economic downturns, and a host of other factors sent the
once-prestigious resort into a slow decline. The aging Poland Spring House closed
its doors in 1965, and was left to deteriorate until 1972, when Mel and Cyndi Robbins
bought the property and began changing it back into a resort. Catastrophe struck on
July 3, 1975 when the grand old hotel
went up in flames.
Today, Poland Springs survives as a handful of historic
buildings, a 20th century Inn, an 18-hole golf course designed by Donald Ross, and
haunting memories of a bygone era. Those memories, together with photographs,
postcards, and selected excerpts from a variety of sources have been gathered here as a
tribute to one of the grand resort hotels of the Victorian era.