The Maine State Building

Deborah Holmes

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The octagonal inside of the Maine State Building at the Poland Spring Preservation Park.

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Outside, the building resembles a fancy, turreted fairy-tale palace.

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Turret detail

Standing in the magnificent three-story octagonal lobby and gazing up at the leadedglass dome, it's hard to picture this turn-of-the-century building being moved piece bypiece by horse-drawn wagon.

The Maine State Building, part of the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, is now part of thePoland Spring Preservation Park. Slated for destruction after the World's Fair, thebuilding was saved by Hiram Ricker, owner of the Poland Spring resort and Poland Springwater.

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Stained glass panel from second floor window in the Maine State Building

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Posts are quarter-sawn oak

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The staircase and rooms in this octagonal house follow the outside of the building.

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Scale model of the Poland Spring House inside one of the rooms in the Maine State Building

In 1894, Hiram Ricker & Sons, owners of the Poland Spring Water operation as wellas the Poland Spring resort, purchased the building for $30,000. The Rickers sent a crewto Chicago to take the building down, carefully marking each section. The building wastaken apart under the personal supervision of Hiram W. Ricker and loaded on a specialtrain of sixteen cars and transported to Maine, at a cost of over three thousand dollars.

From Danville Junction, near Auburn, Maine, the building pieces were hauled by horseand wagon over country roads to the resort at Poland Spring.

The cornerstone was laid on August 14, 1894, and the Maine State Building wasdedicated on July 1, 1895, as part of the celebration marking the Rickers' settling inPoland.

Ever since, the building has been a library, museum and art gallery. The Maine State Buildingis now under the supervision of the Poland Spring Preservation Society. Knowledgeable tourguides give informal tours of the building and its many rooms, or you can wander around byyourself, both inside and out.

Other notable historic buildings in the park include thePolandSpring Bottling Plant and,Spring House.

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As it was more than 100 years ago, the Maine State Building is open to visitors

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A good place to rest on a hot day. "Fang," owned by one of the members of the Preservation Society, enjoys the air conditioned comfort of the Maine State Building on a recent summer day.

More information on the Preservation Park may be found atwww.polandspring.com

About the Author
By Deborah Holmes, The Old House Web

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