Nineteenth Century History discussion

tourist attractions of the 19th century

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message 1: by Kathrina (new)

Kathrina I'm new to goodreads, but I'm looking for readers to discuss a rather limited historical concept. I recently visited Mount Vernon, Washington's home plantation, and read the fabulous book Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon, which chronicles the history of the plantation since Washington's death. I'm fascinated by the concept of a historical landmark turning to a tourist attraction, and then, by virtue simply of it's tourism appeal over generations, becomes a historical landmark as a tourist attraction. People have been touring Mount Vernon for over a hundred and fifty years, and what tourists have taken from that experience has changed greatly over the decades. The way we commemorate history can be as fascinating as the history itself. Does anyone have any recommendations that concern this topic?

message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Ellis | 4 comments HI everyone! I'm an Author, new here, and hope to make some new friends!
This is not the answer to above, but the following thoughts .... we were driving in Texas and stopped at a very new road side rest stop. Inside the building was an awesome amazing tribute to some of the history of the settlers of East Texas, and Sam Houston, and historiacal writings and like - even a historical museum right there in the rest stop! What a great idea! Think how many peopole stop there and come in and them go out knowing so much more about the history of the state! We stayed rather a long time and read everyting!
Sharon Ellis
Communions With Christ

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 15 comments Fort Sumter, in Charleston's harbor. You take a ferry to get there; it's quite an experience, to see where the American Civil War started.

message 5: by Kathrina (new)

Kathrina Sharon, that wasn't the direction I was going when I posted this topic, but you bring up an interesting perspective. What happens when a historically insignificant piece of land (a rest stop) becomes the holding place for historically significant artifacts, so that over the years that land becomes historically significant by virtue of what it memorializes? Will the fact that we choose to display our artifacts in high-traffic areas be historically significant to historians in future generations? Could this museum evolve to a destination, rather than a stop along the way? Is that the intention?

message 6: by Scott (new)

Scott Ferry One place i had stopped off at on the way through Illinois was Lincoln's home.
I was not planning at the time to see this, but since it was in Springfield and i stopped off for a coffee, I decided to go through it. So in some sense the way a place is advertised and its location can draw people to discover historical places and history. on the other hand, i have hiked to various locations over the years (ghost towns and old mining towns specifically) that were only accessible if you really wanted to go see it. But this did not stop me from searching them out. Unfortunately there was no walking tour or well displayed and untouched artifacts. And I had to read about the location beforehand to know about it.

message 7: by Kathrina (new)

Kathrina Scott, what books did you read that led you to these unadvertized historic locations? Can you recommend any of them?

message 8: by Scott (new)

Scott Ferry Mount Lowe, the railway in the clouds

this is about the late period 19th century and describes a railway that went up mt. lowe and a bit about the Echo Mountain House, etc. I have yet to find a good book detailing the actual history of the Echo Mountain House and the inventions that were created just for this whole excursion. I know there is the Echo Phone which still exists up there if you hike to this place. This place is mainly ruins now, but you can find all kinds of things, once when i was a kid and hiking with my dad i found a ladies victorian spat boot.

Here is a brief idea of the railway and place ...

The Railway opened on 4 July 1893, and consisted of nearly seven miles (11.2 km) of track starting in Altadena, California at a station called Mountain Junction. The railway climbed the steep Lake Avenue and crossed the Poppyfields into the Rubio Canyon. This part of the trip was called the Mountain Division. At this juncture stood the Rubio Pavilion, a small 12-room hotel. From there the passengers transferred to a cable car funicular which climbed the Great Incline to the top of the Echo Mountain promontory.

Atop Echo stood the magnificent 70-room Victorian hotel, the Echo Mountain House. Only a few hundred feet away stood the 40-room Echo Chalet which was ready for opening day. The complement of buildings on Echo included an astronomical observatory, car barns, dormitories and repair facilities, a casino and dance hall, and a menagerie of local fauna. Passengers could then transfer to another trolley line, the Alpine Division, which would take them to the upper terminus at Crystal Springs and Ye Alpine Tavern, a 22-room Swiss Chalet hospice with a complement of amenities from tennis courts, to wading pools, to mule rides.

message 9: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany (mtiff) | 6 comments wow! I wonder why it became ruins? It sounds mystical. It would make a great setting for a historical fiction novel.

message 10: by Scott (new)

Scott Ferry It is a wierd place.. as it had all the Victorian decor and people were dressed very well, not like hikers or anything. The whole eccentric feel of the place and the rail, etc.. give a strange feeling to the place for sure.

You can find this info online : wiki and others.. but it does not go deeper then that usually as far as the hotel etc..

The Mount Lowe Railway was officially abandoned in 1938 after a horrendous rain washed most everything off the mountain sides. Today, the ruins of Mount Lowe Railway remain as a monument to a once-ever experienced enterprise.>

I would love it if i could find a history book dealing with the house in particular, etc.. or a memoire from that experience. I have yet to find anything. I might try to ask around. This is a great subject for a historical fiction book if it was researched well enough.

But nevertheless the only way you can see it now is to hike it. There is no tourist center on top and nothing to really attract any crowds but remenants and ruins. There is wierd things up there though.. like the echo phone.

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