1912 All Souls Chapel; Poland Spring Resort, Poland Maine
Photo taken by Brian Bartlett
The large memorial window in the alcove at the front of the church is of stained glass illustrating the inscription which runs through it, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” Through the bottom of the window are the words, “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.” The center section of the window contains the figure of Jesus and is resplendently beautiful in its coloring. This window was the gift of two lady visitors at Poland Spring, and was a very expensive contribution to the edifice.
This little church, which has since dignified the crest of Ricker Hill and added its distinctive beauty to ensemble of the Poland Spring buildings was formally opened on Sunday, September 1, 1912.
The following year the bells were installed in the tower. Known as the “Westminster Peals” or “Cambridge Quarters” they were a unit of four, keyed in G, C, D, and E, according to their weight of 1,500, 500, 400, and 300 pounds. They were composed of Lake Superior copper and imported tin, in the correct proportion to form the best ringing alloy.
On the largest of the bells is the following inscription:
“Presented to All Souls Chapel, Poland Spring, Maine, by Mrs. Calvin Allen Richards and Miss Annie Louise Richards of Boston, Mass. June 1, 1913.”
Church services were held during the summer months (May through October) until 40 years ago. There were two Catholic services and one Protestant service each Sunday. The Catholic service was a mission of the Catholic Church at Yarmouth, Maine. The ministers serving here came from various towns, or may have been guests or visiting travelers. Services have been held in the winter months upon special occasion, as the building was kept heated all year, for protection to the interior furnishings and equipment.
This chapel has been the scene of countless weddings, as there is a great sentimental attachment here for thousands of persons who may have worked or vacationed at this resort.
The prayer at the official opening ceremony of this chapel in 1912 ended thusly: “We pray that this beautiful chapel may be a perpetual reminder of the reality of the spiritual life to many who are struggling upward toward the height where Thou dost dwell.”
Segments reprinted from Poland Past and Present 1795-1970