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This event is part of the Museum’s free Summer 2019 Speaker Series, which will accompany our exhibition “The Grand Hotels of the White Mountains,” on view May 17-September 12, 2019.

After the Civil War, the combination of railroads and fine hotels meant that increasing numbers of middle class Americans were coming to the White Mountains for extended periods of time. But the experience they sought went beyond scenery: they sought to escape city life during hot summers while turning the White Mountains into a rural playground for urban Americans. White Mountain hotels were expected to meet the varying demands of city people who wanted to “rough it” in luxury. Hotel managers orchestrated an array of services, including frivolous games and contests, to satisfy visitors and keep them coming back year after year.

Stuart Wallace is Professor of History at the NHTI—Concord’s Community College., He has a Ph.D. in Early American History from the University of New Hampshire, and he initiated the courses in New Hampshire history currently being taught at UNH. Dr. Wallace is former Director of the New Hampshire Historical Society, former Director of the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, and former Director of the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium.

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