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Auto Racing in Maine: 1911

Three Stanley Mountain Wagons at Poland Spring, 1911

Three Stanley Mountain Wagons at Poland Spring, 1911

Item 35451 info
Stanley Museum

Three Stanley Mountain Wagons and their crews stand before the garage (former stables) that once stood adjacent to the Riccar Inn (now known as the Presidential) at the Poland Spring Resort in 1911.

The Poland Spring Hotels, owned by Hiram Ricker & Sons, operated three of these early steamers to carry visitors and guests with their luggage from the nearby train depot to the hotels and the famed mineral springs.

Unlike early internal combustion cars, the Stanleys were quiet and did not emit foul exhaust, and thus could drive up to the main hotel entrance without disturbing guests on the veranda.

The steam cars also excelled as hill climbers. Stanley cars competed in and won many of these early events, including the "Climb to the Clouds" up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, "Giant’s Despair" in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania; and "Dead Horse Hill" in Worcester, Massachusetts.

One of these cars saw double duty at the Thurlow Hill Climb, as it transported the press corps to the races and was driven by William S. Stanley (a Stanley nephew) in an official exhibition run over the course.