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Maine History Online
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Poland Spring: Summering in Fashion

Poland Spring House, ca. 1935

Poland Spring House, ca. 1935

Item 25514 info
Poland Spring Preservation Society

In addition to the rise of motor touring, other external factors also contributed to the demise of the grand Victorian resorts of the Gilded Age.

Events such as World War I and the Great Depression brought tourism to screeching halts.

The Rickers always blamed their declining fortunes on the introduction of the federal income tax in 1913. More decisive, however, were internal family dynamics and missteps.

The grandsons of Hiram Ricker did not possess the same "hotel blood" as the sons had. Edward, Hiram, and Alvan died between 1928 and 1933, just as the Great Depression hit in full force.

Within a few years the family lost control of the resort. It passed through a succession of owners, each of whom tried unsuccessfully to retain the Gilded Age ambience and elegance.

That era, however, had passed forever.