“One of the most remarkable springs
ever discovered in New England”
What is it about Summit Spring and why is it so unique?
Summit Spring is a phenomenon, inexplicable in many ways. Specifically a geologic phenomenon that was discovered a long, long time ago, probably in Native American times; as Maine has large tribal regions. There is no way you can walk anywhere near the source on Summit Hill (the highest ground in Cumberland County, Maine) and not be aware of this rushing stream coming down the hill from above. We are sure early settlers stumbled upon this and ventured upwards to the origin to find out where it was coming from. Visiting in person, such a magical place, and sampling the beautiful clear water flowing from it, would leave a lasting impression on anyone lucky enough to discover it. We now know that many of the first observers of the source attributed healing properties to the water bubbling from it, and there is evidence of settlements scattered across the land around the spring. Not that long after the Declaration of Independence we start to see early settlers writings about the source around 1792, when Maine was actually still part of Massachusetts.
The very first “steward” of record was Nathaniel Burnham, born 1770, and ‘settled in Harrison on the farm owned and occupied by the family for more than fifty years; since became famous as the location of the Summit Spring, one of the most remarkable springs ever discovered in New England.’ In fact nearby is the B & S cemetery, which stands for Burnham and Scribner, the two original families that settled in town. Mr. Burnham was a leading citizen here, built one of the first framed houses and served as Selectman for many years from the date of its organization in 1805. He had seven children from his first wife, died in 1837 at the age of 67 years, 10 months and is buried alongside his entire family, the very first tombstones you will see as you enter the cemetery. There are many references to his choosing the location because of his large family and its ample water supply from the spring.
The story continues with Francis H. Whitman born Christmas day, 1823. He moved to Harrison from Norway in 1861, settling on what was then known as the ‘Summer Burnham Farm’ but which later became somewhat famous as the ‘Summit Hill Farm’. Keeping in mind that Summit Hill was previously known as Scribner Hill and Burnham Hill later becoming its current name: Summit Hill. ‘A very large spring was situated on Mr. Whitman’s farm, and certain things that came under his observation caused him to think that the waters of that spring possessed valuable medicinal qualities. He proceeded to make extended experiments with it, and had it analyzed by practical chemists, with the result that is was finally determined beyond a doubt that the water was possessed of medical properties which made it equal in value to any of the various mineral waters that were then on the market. The proprietor placed the water upon the market, and advertised it extensively, with the result that a large sale was worked up, and the Summit Spring became famous at home and abroad, thus enhancing the value of his property to quite an extent.’ Mr. Whitman is credited with establishing Summit Spring Water as a legacy brand and is the reason we use 1875 as the date or origin on our logo; 1875 being the first time that the water was specifically marketed and advertised as a bottled spring water.
Summit Spring is a rare, high altitude, natural free-flowing spring that exists today exactly as it has for all of recorded history. The source itself is still protected by the stone spring house, built by L. Franklin VanZelm in 1936, and water is still captured and gravity fed in the same way the barrels were filled in the 1800′s. We have never modified the source or drilled boreholes like just about every other company on Earth to maximize profits and flow, but ultimately just degrades the source. While most all the other brands try desperately to market their ‘tap/well’ water in increasingly fancier bottles to delude the public; we continue to focus on preserving the natural, exceedingly pure spring water that flows from Summit Spring; ultimately the only thing that really matters. Source matters, You should know where your water comes from…
Summit Spring bottles Real Maine Spring Water that is captured, gravity fed, direct from the source and bottled only at the source.