A new problem in New England
Across the Atlantic, coastal areas of the US such as Maine saw tourism increase dramatically after the end of the Civil War, and then with greater speed after the advent of the railway when visitors would pour in from cities along with East Coast. Middle class vacationers transformed the coastal landscape, and developers built huge hotels and holiday homes, leading to the gradual displacement of maritime families. Because traditional industries were in decline across the New England coastline, local families were forced to sell their land to wealthier seasonal residents or developers, and many took jobs as cooks, gardeners and servants for holidaymakers. In some towns, the summer influx was larger than the year round population4.
At around the same time, Niagara Falls was swiftly becoming the country’s most popular attraction, so much so that tourists began to grumble about overdevelopment at the site. As far back as the 1830s, there were complaints that the landscape around the falls was being spoilt by the sheer number of visitors, and by the mid 19th century, the number of shops, photographers and aggressive guides were, according to some, ruining the experience. This was exacerbated following the Civil War when cheaper train fares made the falls even more accessible, and visitor numbers rose from around 20,000 a year in 1838 to 80,000 a year in 18505