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Last Week

Clearly, there are some fantastic ski history buffs in among our readership. We had some spot-on descriptions of this old hotel last week.

This is the Poland Springs House in Poland Springs, ME. Here’s a bit of this famous landmark’s story from Glenn Parkinson, the historian at the Ski Museum of Maine. He writes:

Hiram Ricker expanded his family’s inn at Poland Spring in 1876 by building a hotel with 350 guest rooms. The resort was marketed as a “country getaway with recreational activities and having water with health benefits,” according to the official history. The hotel became popular for the country’s social elite and the basic design was used to develop other resorts such as the Samoset and the Mt Kineo House.

“Recreational activities included one of the first golf courses in the state and of course a variety of winter activities. In some ways the Poland Spring resort was Maine’s first winter resort. Activities such as horse drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing and skiing were popular. A toboggan slide ran all the way down to the lake. There was even winter harness racing on the ice of the lake. Photos of the time show lots of people wearing big fur coats watching a few people on skis or snowshoes. Into the 1920’s skiing was so new to most people that it was more of a spectator event than an activity.

“Well into the 1920s the Poland Spring Resort was one of Maine’s most popular places for winter sport and recreation.”

There are some fascinating photos of ski history in Maine at the museum site.  Thanks to the Ski Museum of Maine for allowing us to use this picture.

2 Comments

  1. Sunday River, ME Santa Day

  2. Avatar Karen Alexander says:

    Windham Mountain ?

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