Digital Collections @ St. Lawrence University

1868-1916: Popularization Yields Exploration

1868-1916:    Popularization Yields Exploration

During “The Gilded Age,” the Adirondacks became much more accessible, both physically and economically. The end of the Civil War brought about not only advanced transportation technology (in the form of the rail road) but also sociological changes that allowed a much wider spectrum of people to be able to afford to see the Adirondacks (Verner xxi). There was an increased interest in guidebooks due to the popularity of recreational exploration of the region (xxii). It has been argued that this is when the Adirondacks were really “opened” to the public through W. H. H, Murray’s book Adventures in the Wilderness; Camp-Life in the Adirondacks (xxi). This era also saw the beginnings of a conservation movement, with the work of early naturalists like Verplank Colvin (xxiv). Because of work like his, 700,000 Adirondack acres were “withdrawn from further sale to the public” in 1883 (xxv).