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Sacred Places: American Tourist Attractions in the Nineteenth Century

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Tourism emerged as an important cultural activity in the United States in the 1820s as steamboats and canals allowed for greater mobility and the nation's writers and artists focused their attention on American scenery. From the 1820s until well after the Civil War, American artists, like Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, depicted American tourist attractions in their work, ...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published January 8th 1999 by University of Massachusetts Press (first published August 17th 1989)
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Ken Dowell
Nov 17, 2014 rated it liked it
In the so-called New World there was no Rome or Jerusalem to set forth toward on a pilgrimage. We have no grand cathedrals. So in this author’s view, we created our own “Sacred Places.” What raw material did we have to work with. Scenery and stunning landscape. Sears describes the reverence which 19th century intellectuals, artists and tourists bestowed upon that era’s emerging tourist attractions. They were Niagara Falls, the Hudson and Connecticut Valleys, Mammoth Cave, the White Mountains, Yo ...more
Mary Catelli
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-modern
The adventures of creating tourist traps. Niagara and the Mammoth Caves were big early ones because they were striking and unique; you couldn't get that in Europe. To be gloried in for their sublime and religious inspiration.

Not that that was always an advantage. Proper scenery was invested with stories and poetry. The Hudson and the Connecticut were big on the American Grand Tour because they were cultivated along most of their length, which is what proper scenery looked like. Washington Irving
...more
Kristi
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: academic
Sears argues that 19th century American tourist attractions tended to be secular places sanctified by natural sublimity and nationalistic idealism in which the nation was symbolized by natural grandeur or American ingenuity. This history is extremely easy and enjoyable to read, as well as academically well-informed and researched. It does, however, present a very limited view of American tourism, focusing only on sublime landscapes, with only passing mention of resorts and a complete lack of awa ...more
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