Jews as Mainers: Jewish Contributions to Maine's Culture

Summit Springs Hotel, Poland

Summit Springs Hotel, Poland
Item 138   info
Maine Historical Society

Although Maine has been a popular American vacation spot for many years, the resorts for which the state is famous have not always been open to everyone.

In the early 20th century there was a rising national trend of excluding Jews from hotels and resorts, and Maine was no exception.

Poland Spring, for example, was a popular resort that welcomed wealthy Jews during its first half-century of existence, but potential guests reported that the hotel turned to a policy of discrimination as anti-Semitism rose nationally in the early 20th century.

Jews, however, were not left out in the cold as other resorts friendly to Jews started to appear.

The Jewish-owned Summit Springs, located on the next hill over from Poland Spring, offered wealthy out-of-state Jews an alternative place to stay during their jaunts into Maine.

Summit Springs is an example of how the presence of Jews in Maine altered the local culture and how Jews carved out a space for themselves in the face of adversity.

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