Poland Spring: A Tale of the Gilded Age, 1860-1900

Front Cover
University of New Hampshire Press, 2005 - Self-Help - 313 pages
0 Reviews
Between 1860 and 1900 the Ricker family's rustic frontier farm became the world-renowned summer community of Poland Spring, Maine, a middle landscape where upper-middle-class patrons and their urban values of status, leisure, and consumption confronted, flirted with, embraced and ultimately subsumed traditional, rural New England. First and foremost a cultural study, Poland Spring chronicles the rise of a nineteenth-century tourist mecca. By successfully linking its fortunes to the railroad and tourism, Poland Spring became home to both a classic manifestation of the magnificent Victorian summer hotel culture of the Northeast, the Poland Spring House, and to the legendary business that originated one of the most popular and enduring brands in the mineral water marketplace, the eponymous Poland Spring.

This complex story represents a fascinating microcosm of the blossoming of the vacation trade and tourism in nineteenth-century New England, the emergence of the "springs" phenomenon, the development of entrepreneurialism into corporate capitalism, and the extension into the rural Northeast of the modern values that still predominantly shape the American cultural landscape. Scholars interested in regional, business, and tourism history as well as modernist studies will find much to admire in this progressive cultural history of the Gilded Age, to which historian David Richards brings impeccable scholarship and an energetic narrative style.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

From Country Farm to Summer City
1
The Proprietors
9
The Patrons
24
Copyright

12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

DAVID RICHARDS is Assistant Director of the Northwood University Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan, Maine. He earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of New Hampshire.

Bibliographic information