Becoming Cape Cod: Creating a Seaside Resort

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University of New Hampshire, 2003 - History - 155 pages
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Following in the footsteps of Dona Brown's pathbreaking work on New England tourism, James C. O'Connell has written the first comprehensive history of the tourist trade on Cape Cod. Lavishly illustrated from the author's personal collection of rare historical postcards, O'Connell traces the development of tourism as both an idea and a reality. Tourism came relatively late to the Cape, beginning with the establishment of resort communities in Hyannisport and Falmouth. The introduction of the automobile led to the arrival of an increasing number of middle-class tourists, which in turn spawned proliferation of motels, inexpensive hotels, cottage colonies, and campsites. To attract and entertain the new influx of tourists, the area became home to a dizzying array of restaurants, antique shops, golf courses, and historical landmarks. After World War II, a further boom ensued which still continues. Today the Cape is faced with the problems of a growing year-round population, crowds of summer vacationers, and all the associated issues of traffic, congestion, water degradation, and overdevelopment. Part social history, part cautionary tale, Becoming Cape Cod is also a thoroughly accessible and enjoyable history of the past 150 years of a unique and celebrated New England locale.

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About the author (2003)

JAMES C. O'CONNELL served as Economic Development Officer of the Cape Cod Commission from 1990 until 2001. He has a Ph.D. in Urban History from the University of Chicago and is currently a planner for the Boston Support Office of the National Park Service. He is author of numerous books and articles.

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