Historic Poland Spring

1900

Harry Vardon, possibly the greatest golfer of his time, plays Poland Spring on two occasions in August. Arthur Fenn and frequent golfing partner and competitor Alex Findlay beat Vardon in a best ball match.

1901

The Rickers buy the Bay Point Inn and rename it the Samoset. Remodeled and enlarged, the Rickers would operate the coastal hotel as well as the Mt. Kineo on Moosehead Lake in conjunction with Maine Central Railroad. This relationship would last a little over a decade.

The first automobile is driven on the property, signaling a change in the resort and tourism industry.

1904

Poland Water is exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. It wins GrandPrize besting all the waters of the world.

1905

Canary Cottage (now known as the Roosevelt Cottage) is contructed. The building was built for use as a store, telephone company as well as offices for the Ricker brother's secretaries.

1907

A new springhouse and bottling facility are constructed. Designed by Harry C. Wilkinson, the modern plant was built to ensure the highest quality of product for the consumers.

1909

The nine-hole course is moved to one side of what is now Preservation Way in order to accommodate the future construction of the All Souls Chapel. The official groundbreaking for the chapel is held in September by Garret A. Hobart III, grandson of the former vice-president under President McKinley.

1912

All Souls Chapel is officially opened as an interdenominational place of worship for guests and resort staff.

1913

The Riccar Inn is constructed. This is the last of the Ricker-built hotels on the property and the only that still stands today. Donald Ross is hired by the Rickers to design an expanded eighteen-hole golf course.

1915

The new Donald Ross 18-hole course is opened. A couple of years later it would be slightly altered by fellow World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Walter Travis.

1918

Future 2nd wife of A.B. Ricker, Jane Jeffrey, an English-born American Red Cross nurse, is wounded when German airplanes bomb the hospital where she was stationed. For her actions, she received the Distinguished Service Cross, one of three female recipients during World War I.

A young but talented 16 year old Bobby Jones, plays golf matches in support of the Red Cross and lowers the amateur record.

1925

Longtime golf professional Arthur Fenn dies in Lewiston. His daughter, Bessie Fenn, takes over as golf professional for the season. Later that year, she applies for her father's wintertime teaching position in Palm Beach and is selected. She is the first woman golf professional to be in charge of a club.

1928

Edward Payson Ricker, who had been leading the family business for  almost six decades, dies.

1929

Amateur Eddie Held plays at Poland Spring and shoots a 62 on the 18-hole course, besting records previously set by Herb Lagerblade, Walter Hagan and Arthur Fenn. The 62 remains the course record at Poland Spring.

1930

Hiram Weston Ricker, the public face of Poland Spring in many areas, dies.

1933

The Ricker enterprise sells the use of its Moses Bottle to a gin company, following the repeal of Prohibition, in hopes of increasing their revenues during the Great Depression.

A.B. Ricker, the last of the three brothers dies.

1937

Due to lagging business, overwhelming debt and leadership succession problems, the business is reorganized under the leadership of Judge Fred Lancaster of Auburn. Charles W. Ricker, son of Hiram Weston Ricker would remain on the board of directors until the end of 1946.

During the period following, until 1962, the property was sold to various companies including National Fireworks and Apollo Industries. While many of the amenities were continued throughout this time period, years of deferred maintenance were taking its toll.