Keywords: Summer Colony
George Popham and a group of fellow Englishmen arrived at the mouth of the Kennebec River, hoping to trade with Native Americans, find gold and other valuable minerals, and discover a Northwest passage. In 18 months, the fledgling colony was gone.
Vacationers, "rusticators," or tourists began flooding into Maine in the last quarter of the 19th century. Many arrived by train or steamer. Eventually, automobiles expanded and changed the tourist trade, and some vacationers bought their own "cottages."
During the Gilded Age at the end of the nineteenth century, Americans sought to leave increasing urban, industrialized lives for the health and relaxation of the country. The Poland Spring resort, which offered a beautiful setting, healing waters, and many amenities, was one popular destination.
A survey of the Colony in 1873 found that a population of 600 had cleared 1500 acres of land and built 130 homes and nearly 130 barns.