A Historical Look at the Poland Spring Resort
Written by Caley Mackenzie, Residential Program Manager
When students arrive at the Poland Spring Resort, the temporary home of The Ecology School’s Residential Programs, the bus pulls up in front of the Maine Inn, and students often exclaim “I didn’t know we were staying at the White House!” With its giant white pillars, it is easy to be reminded of the Pennsylvania Avenue address, but the Maine Inn and the Poland Spring Resort has an impressive history of its own.
Built in 1963, the Maine Inn was the first hotel building on the property that was not built by the original resort owners, the Ricker Family. This impressive hotel sits atop of a large hill, looking over a pristine golf course with the back drop of the White Mountains. On clear days, the students are shocked to learn that the largest mountain they can see is Mount Washington, and even more surprisingly, that it still has snow on top!
With these impressive views, it’s no wonder why the Ricker Family decided this would be a good spot to live and eventually start a business. Starting in 1794, legend has it that Ricker's first opened their home as an inn. Eventually the business grew so successful, it included three grand hotel buildings, cottages, a golf course, stables, and much more. Over the decades, the resort has gone through lots of changes. Two of the original hotel buildings were lost to fires in the 1970’s and the water bottle company split from the hotel business. One of the more ironic changes is that children were not allowed to stay at the resort from the 1980’s through 2003. Now, children can be heard singing repeat-after-me songs throughout the property. The current owner, Cyndi Robbins, has opened the resort to thousands of children this Spring and The Ecology School is proud to be a part of Poland Spring Resort’s impressive history.
Looking for a summer vacation spot or to learn more about the Resort? Click here to visit their website!