The Ricker Family: Bobsledding at Poland Spring in the ’30s

I’ve got an upholstered case with 16 reels of home movies from the Ricker Family, who started the Poland Spring water empire and anticipated today’s boutique water economy. Their mansion at Poland, Maine was an exclusive vacation spot for silent and early sound movie stars, politicians, and many other leading lights of the day. When the Rickers felt like going sledding, well, why not have the carpenters build a launch ramp and have a full-on bobsled run through the back field? This clip dates from roughly 1932. More movies of the Rickers and their guests at play in weeks to come. The footage includes horse racing on ice, explosions, and shots of the zillion-room mansion, which burned down in 1975. It must have been soon after this footage was shot that things took a downturn for the Rickers, and the family lost control of the property in the 30s (according to this site, which provides a brief history of the family and the resort.)

This is shot off the wall with a video camera, so it’s flickery and a little blurred, but this footage should be preserved, or at least properly digitized. I don’t have the dough. If you’d like to finance it, or chip in, send me an email. The Rickers are one of the founding families of the Maine aristocracy, and I think it’s of some historical interest. Anyway, here’s one of dozens and dozens of shots of the Rickers at play, chosen for winter/sledding/holiday fun relevance. I think I’ve got an actual horse-drawn sleigh shot to post as we move into late December.

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  1. […] a previous post, I finally began to post a few clips from my archive of home movies from the Ricker family, […]

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