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Great Moments in our History

Our Story

Technically, the story of this spring water company started almost 20,000 years ago when a glacier retreated from the ocean and settled in Maine. Over time, it seeped into the land, creating the same natural springs we all enjoy today. But that’s just the beginning. Our story spans centuries and helps shape the Northeast region we’re proud to be a part of.

DIVE IN

1844

A REFRESHING REVELATION

Before Poland Spring was a famous spring water brand, it was a celebrated inn. The Ricker family built the inn way back in 1797, but it was Hiram Ricker (grandson of the first Ricker settlers) who discovered the fresh taste of the spring water at the original source. The water was so refreshing, he drank from the spring for a whole week straight (we don’t blame him). Legend has it that he believed the water benefited his health, and just like that, a wonder tonic was born.

1859

SHARING THE GOODS

Ricker began sharing his fresh-tasting spring water with friends and neighbors, selling clay jugs for 5 cents a gallon. Soon, word spread throughout Maine of the water’s incredible taste — and a regional brand was born. Water bottled from the original Poland Spring source became available all throughout the Northeast by the barrel or the bottle. (That’s a lot of greatness going around!)

1893

THE TASTE OF VICTORY

The Poland Spring brand started earning accolades across the country, first earning recognition at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, then winning the grand prize at the St. Louis Fair. These awards drove the brand to international fame, leading to offices in London, Paris, Cairo and Manila. More in demand than ever, Poland Spring Natural Spring Water became the drink of choice on Pullman cars, transatlantic ships — and even zeppelins! (AKA giant blimps).

1906

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

Demand for bottled water was growing. And quickly. To keep up, the Ricker family constructed a permanent bottling facility — the largest and best-equipped in America (way back then). Knowing the tourism potential of their property and their beautiful home state, the Ricker family helped establish the Maine Tourism Association. This led to great conservation efforts in the wildlife areas surrounding their home and throughout the state (way to go, Ricker family!).

1962

THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA

After changing owners several times throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the Poland Spring resort and bottling facility were eventually purchased by Saul Feldman. In an attempt to attract new visitors, he improved amenities and modernized buildings throughout the resort. Just take a look at that putting green — we love the color!

1976

PRESERVATION BECOMES PRIORITY

The Poland Spring Preservation Society was created to preserve the rich history of the Poland Spring brand and artifacts from over a century of doing business. Many important historical buildings, like the original Spring House (pictured here) are still standing today as a result of their work. Although the original Poland Spring source is no longer in use, it serves as a reminder of the brand’s history.

Today

THE NEXT CHAPTER

The Poland Spring® brand is now more popular than ever — it’s even considered the number one beverage brand in the Northeast. It might not be served on zeppelins anymore (huge bummer, we know), but it’s still sourced from natural springs in Maine. To learn the full history of our brand — or see the original, historic source for yourself — take a trip up to Maine and stop by the Preservation Society. For more information about what we’re up to these days, check out our community involvement page.

See our commitment to Maine