Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 453
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Gazetteer of the State of Maine With Numerous Illustrations, by Geo. J. Varney

BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY B. B. RUSSELL, 57 CORNHILL. 1882. Public domain image from

town the Shakers have a power used for several small manufactures.
East Poland has a post-office and railway station, and West and South
Poland and Shaker Village have each a post-oftice. The most important
manufactures at Mechanic Falls are paper, and the repeating rifles of
the Evans Rifle Company, and a canning factory. The Dennison Paper
Manufacturing Company operates five different mills at this place, pro-
ducing various kinds of paper, and employing about 150 persons. The
surface of the town is in the eastern part level or gentle undulating,
while in the western portion there is a combination of hill, lake and
forest scenery that is very pleasing, and in some parts highly picturesque.
The ledges that crop out along the hillsides show a coarse granite
structure with a predominance of felspar in some localities. Mica-
schist and argillaceous rock are found in other quarters. The soil in
the lowlands and valleys is alluvial, having a surface stratum of
vegetable origin underlaid by sand. Poland is one of our best agricul-
tural towns, all the usual crops having a good yield.




The town, however, is most noted for its mineral springs. There
are the Poland and South Poland and. the Highland springs, the
two latter just coming into notice. All are situated at an elevation
which affords fine views of the surrounding country, and are recom-
mended for some diseases of the kidneys and associate derangements.
The Poland spring, known in the region as Ricker’s, is owned by Hiram
Ricker and sons, in whose family the property has been since 1794.
Wentworth Ricker opened the Mansion House in 1797 and it has been
kept as a hotel by his son and then by his grandsons ever since. Little
attention was given to the spring until about 1858 ; when the valuable
qualities of the water becoming generally known, the hotel (whose
business had fallen off with the change from stages to railroads) soon
had to be enlarged. So popular have the waters of this spring become,
that a few years ago it was found advisable to build another and larger
house for the accommodation of the patrons who flocked thither in
the summer months. The new house bears the name of the Poland
Springs House, and contains 120 sleeping rooms, and has 450 feet of
broad piazza. The situation on tbe top of a high, extended hill, or
ridge, 800 feet above the ocean, with ponds, forests and other hills on
every side, is one of rare attraction. The spring runs about eight
gallons a minute from a crevice in the solid granite ledge. Besides
Ricker’s Hill may be mentioned Pigeon, Harris, Johnson’s, Megquier,
White Oak, Bailey, Thurlow and Black Cat hills, all considerable
eminences. The two neighboring Shaker villages, called the Upper
Shaker Village, in the town about one half mile south, and another called
the Lower Village in New Gloucester, about a mile south of the last, are
objects of interest to visitors. The sect in this town originated in 1784
or 1785 bv the preaching of an itinerant disciple of Ann Lee, from
Lebanon, New York. There were at this time quite a number of set-
tlers on Ricker Hill, and most of them became converted. They were
joined by others from Hebron ; but exchanged their lands, and settled
together in New Gloucester, forming what is now called the Lower
Family,and holding their property in common. The UpperFamily,orthe
present Poland community, came from Gorham, Maine, in 1819. They
then numbered about 50, but now less than 40. They brought with
them eight oxen, three horses and twenty cows, with a variety of house-
hold goods and farming utensils. They have since further increased


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