Interior of Stables
at Poland Spring, ca. 1886

Out-Buildings &
Support Services


The Rickers spared no effort or expense to provide their guests with all the amenities that anyone could desire. Vegetables and flowers grown on the Rickers' farms graced the dining room tables. A complete livery provided transportation for the guests - they were picked up at Danville Station when they arrived - and horses and carriages were available for congenial drives along country roads. An army of employees, most of whom lived on the property in special dormitories, provided attentive service to the hotel guests.

Green Houses at Poland Spring


"Five hundred acres were tilled with one hundred twenty-five in garden. There were five acres of peas, seven of beans, 3000 tomato plants, 500 hills of cucumbers, and cabbage, beets, lettuce, Swiss chard, and radishes by the ton. Providing the hotel, also, were the Shaker farms, with 400 acres of vegetables and fruit, and 30 of potatoes, plus 700 barrels of apples. The Hotel's farms kept 100 milk cows along with their other herds."
(Poland Past and Present, 1795-1970)

Stables at Poland Spring, ca. 1886
(Souvenir of Poland Spring and Hotels)


"In 1825, a large stable was built. It was said to be the best hotel stable in the State. It was enlarged in 1887, but burned in 1894. All the contents were lost; 27 horses, all harnesses, robes and coach equipment. This happened at the height of the season between 9:00 and 10:00 PM, Tuesday, August 21st. Somehow the Rickers got the coach line running and handled seventy persons the next day, and by Saturday they had replaced the horses and all equipment, giving full service."

Stables at Poland Spring, ca. 1913
(Detroit Photo Collection, #011731)


"During 1894-95, over the ruins of the old stable, a new double stable was erected. It had two wings, a steel roof, firewalls, and had a 152' frontage. The total cost was between ten and twelve thousand dollars."
(Poland Past and Present, 1795-1970)

"The livery at Poland is very complete, and includes riding and driving horses, equipages of every variety, and thoroughly trustworthy drivers, grooms, etc.  A private stable with quarters for drivers and grooms is also maintained. A Garage and Automobile Livery and a Repair and Supply Station have been installed for the pleasure and convenience of those enjoying motoring. During the summer, both automobiles and horses are used in the transportation of guests to and from Danville Junction."
(Pamphlet, Mansion House, ca. 1913)

Water Tower at Poland Spring, ca. 1916
Capacity: 45,000 gallons

(Pamphlet - Poland Spring, 1916)

View Plan of Sanitary Arrangements
at Poland Spring, ca. 1890
(Pamphlet - Poland Spring Hotels, 1889)

Water & Sanitation

"The drainage system is the most perfect that science and unrestricted expense can produce.   The water-supply system is equally complete and
is maintained by a powerful pumping station, also isolated, and an automatic sprinkler system (the Poland Spring House was the first
resort hotel in the country to be thus equipped), together with a
carefully planned system of hydrants, water towers, etc., affording the utmost protection at all times"

(Pamphlet, Poland Spring House, 1914)

Poland Spring House
Cook's Dorm
Key & Fob


"The laundry facilities have been greatly enlarged and improved to meet the needs of the the increasing work. Two new mangles, a shirt ironer, and several machines for the smaller work have been installed, and will give the corps of laundry employees the best mechanical assistance."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, July 5, 1914, p. 12)


"The completion of the large and well-equipt [sic] kitchen at the end of the dining hall in the Poland Spring House dormitory, confirms the statement made a short time ago by a visitor at Poland Spring. He said 'No hotels take better care of their employees.' Hiram Ricker & Sons have recognized the fact that a well-housed, well-fed, contented body of employees is essential to prosperity. At the end of the dining-hall opposite the employee's kitchen is a new entrance hall which may be described as a rest room or lobby, sixteen feet wide by forty-two feet long. It affords an entrance to the dormitory rooms above by means of a wide oak stairway. The hall is exceptionally well lighted by many large windows, is excellently furnished, and provides a splendid leisure room and social center for the dormitory dwellers."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, July 5, 1914, p. 12)

The Hair Boudoir, in the Annex
at Poland Spring

(The Hill-Top Magazine, September13, 1903)

Conservatory, Annex & Studio 

"About [1893] the conservatory was built, and in it at all times are beautiful specimens of horticulture under the highest state of cultivation. Buildings were added in the court as well.   The lower floor of the Annex was so arranged as to furnish a fine billiard hall, bowling alleys, and a barber's shop.  Later a photograph studio was erected containing a number of private dark-rooms for the use of amateur photographers. The studio has been in the charge of the Notman Company, one of Boston's best known photographic firms."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, September13, 1903)

"After a shampoo, for comfort use this electric hair dryer.  Hot or cold air.  Ladies' Hair Dressing, Undulating, etc.  Facial Massage, Electrical Treatment.  Surgical Chiropody, Manicure, for Ladies and Gentlemen."
(The Hill-Top Magazine, September13, 1903)

Court and Annex
(Postcard, postmarked South Poland, ME 1 JUL 1907)

Telegraph, Post Office &
News Stand at Poland Spring

(Poland Spring - America's Leading Spa, 1901)


Guest Services 

"At all times a direct telegraph wire to Boston and Long Distance Telephone Service are available."
(Pamphlet, Mansion House, ca. 1913)

"A United States Post Office is conveniently located in the foyer."
(Pamphlet, Mansion House, ca. 1913)

"Mails arrive at 9:30 A.M. and 4 P.M., leave at 5:45 and 9:45 A.M."
(Menu, Sunday, September 28, 1884)

"Workaholic businessmen could keep track of the stock market and contact their brokers through the Western Union office in the hotel lobby."
(Down East Magazine, 1992)

Brian Harris