Souvenir of Poland Spring
(Souvenir book, 1890)

Souvenirs of

Over the years,  a variety of items were offered for sale in the in the hotel gift shop, which visitors to Poland Spring eagerly purchased as mementos of their visit or as gifts for friends and family.  Many of these items were uniquely Victorian products, such as Mauchline ware, while others were as ubiquitous then as today, such as postcards and souvenir books.

Mauchline Trinket Box
and Pin Holder
(Souvenirs of  Poland Spring, ca. 1880)

Mauchline Ware:

"Mauchline ware are small wooden souvenir and giftware produced in southwest Scotland from the early 19th century until the 1930's.  Made from the wood of the plane tree (sycamore) with applied transfer prints used as a decoration.  All received numerous coats of protective copal varnish. There is no record of the total number of different transfer views, but the number must run into four figures, with many popular resorts, both inland and coastal, being represented by large numbers of different views."
(John Baker, Chairman of the Mauchline Ware Collectors Club)

Souvenir Books:

Souvenir books containing text and pictures documenting the Poland Spring and Hotels were sold to visitors as mementos of their stay.  One early souvenir book, published by Chisholm Bros. of Portland, Me., contained a series of envravings depicting the Poland Spring complex, including interior and exterior views, the bottling plant, the grove, the steamboat landing, the stables, and the scenery "after the great ice storm of 1885."   

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

German made Souvenir China from
Poland Spring

Souvenir China:

Decorative china illustrated with views of the Poland Spring House and accented with gold decoration were sold to visitors as souvenirs.   This china was made primarily in England and Germany, and imported by firms such as A.L. & E.F. Goss, Co., in nearby Lewiston, Maine.  

Souvenir Spoons:

Sterling silver spoons were created in the 1890's based on a design by Nettie Ricker.  The handle of the spoon depicts the Moses bottle with it's wooden carrying handle.  The bowls of the spoons were made in a variety of shapes, including a gold-washed grapefruit spoon, a plain tea spoon, and an etched teaspoon showing the Poland Spring House as it looked at that time.  These spoons were often given as gifts by members of the Ricker family, etched with the recipient's initials, a date, or some other personalized message.


On May 19, 1898, Congress enacted a law which authorized the use of "Private Mailing Cards", for domestic (1 cent) and foreign (2 cents) correspondence.  Unlike modern postcards, these first cards reserved the back exclusively for the address, and any message was confined to the front - a white strip along the bottom or side was provided for your message.  Among the earliest Poland Spring postcards was a set published in 1900 based on a series of photographs made by the Detroit Photographic Company, whose glass-plate negatives are now included among the collections at the Library of Congress.  Over the years, Poland Spring published hundreds of different postcard designs, documenting all aspects of the hotel complex.

Moses Bottles:

"These bottles...were filled and given as souvenirs to the hotelmen and others . . .It has never been made clear which of the Rickers so aptly chose the figure to hold the great water, but old letters, etc. seem to indicate it was E.P. Ricker Sr. a dynamic driving man with vision and flair under whose leadership the Ricker enterprises grew and prospered..."

"Emerald green was a favorite color, evidently, for when it was decided to have a souvenir bottle for all honeymooning guests at Poland Spring, a one quart Moses with glass ball stopper in cork was made for the 1931 season.  The same bottles were sold in the gift shop and the newsstands during the depression years for twenty-five cents, without a glass stopper."
(The Moses Bottle, by Pal Vincent, 1969)

Wedgwood Plates:

A blue and white transferware plate was produced by Wedgwood and sold as a souvenir of Poland Spring.  Inscribed on the back were the words:

"Ages ago, Nature, from a fissure near the crest of a magnificent mound of oldest rock, poured from the deepest depths beyond the guess of Man a stream of water so pure that he who sees remembers it ever after as a marvel, and which, unmatched in all the world, has healed so many.
Purchased of the Society of Shakers in 1793 by Jabez Ricker.  It has ever since been in the possession ofn the Ricker family."  

A later, green and white Wedgwood plate was also made, and was used as a service plate in the hotel dining room.

Other Souvenir Items:

Pottery Stein
Poland Spring House

Souvenir Plate
Poland Spring House
souvenir_plate.gif (24528 bytes)
Souvenir Plate
Poland Spring House

Enameled-Bowl Souvenir Spoon
Mt. Kineo House

Souvenir Plate
New Mt. Kineo House

Pocket Watch
New Mt. Kineo House

Brian Harris