St. Lawrence University

In the latter part of the 19th century, wealthy people from New York City and elsewhere began to buy up land in the Adirondacks to create decadently ornate vacation “camps,” many of them with more bedrooms than could be easily counted and features such as bowling alleys. These homes, known as Great Camps, were sometimes accessible only by private railroad lines, making the Adirondacks a veritable playground for Rockefellers, Morgans, Carnegies and their friends. The region was popularized for wealthy tourists in this manner, and eventually luxury hotels were built to accommodate more people, after public railroad access was established. The Great Depression, along with fires and a decrease in the popularity of the Adirondacks among the super wealthy, ultimately brought the demise of these great camps and hotels. In more recent years, Adirondack hotels and lodges have, in large part, simplified and many of them struggle to stay in business. The fiction in this subgenre reflects this change, though many modern works still take place in the early 20th century, when the Great Camp culture thrived the most.

Great Camps & Hotels