HEBRON — Laura Brown, Director of Operations at Poland Spring, recently spoke to the Hebron Historical Society on the history of her company. She said that in the late 18th century, the Hiram Ricker family operated a stage line lodging on their property. In 1845, Hiram Ricker discovered a spring there.

Its outstanding taste and seeming healing properties eventually grew and its bottling business gained worldwide recognition. In 1904, its water won the grand prize at the St Louis Fair. The 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago was the construction site of the Maine State Building. It was subsequently dismantled and shipped to Poland Spring, where it stands today, along with a museum, chapel, hotels, a golf course, and one of the largest bottling plants in America.

With a mansion house and other lodgings on the property, Poland Spring became a destination for presidents, celebrities, and famous sports figures from around the world. Having been associated with the Poland Spring Company since a young child, Speaker Brown provided extensive detail from her unsurpassed knowledge of her company’s history.

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