A visit to the Maine State Building begins with an over whelming feeling of disbelief that in the late nineteenth century such a magnificent building could be built with materials sent from Maine to Chicago and then later moved back to Maine to Poland Spring by train and ox cart!
The Maine State Building was originally built in 1893 for the Chicago Worlds Fair also known as the Columbian Exposition. The Fair was to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The State of Maine appropriated money to construct the building and the design of Charles Sumner Frost, originally of Lewiston, was chosen. The building was to be made of Maine materials in order to exhibit the quality of the state’s resources as well as the quality of its craftsmanship. After the Fair, The Ricker Family bought the building for $30,000. Arrangements were made for the dismantling of the building and shipping by freight train back to Maine. It was to take 16 freight cars! And the Maine State Building was dedicated on July 1, 1895, as part of the celebration marking the Ricker's settling in Poland. The Building is owned by the non profit, Poland Spring Preservation Society.