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Living in Central Maine, it is hard to imagine that a thriving railway industry once existed here let alone that the industry created and operated popular tourist attractions. At the turn of the 20th century, the railway companies built entertainment destinations to increase ridership. The Maine Central Railroad established attractions on the shores of Lake Maranacook and the Augusta, Winthrop and Gardiner Street Railway Company did the same on Lake Cobbosseecontee. These became incredibly popular destinations. The tourism industry continued to grow as hotels, full service resorts and steamer lines sprung up to meet demand. Unfortunately, the trolley cars, train depots and resorts are long gone now and little has been written on the subject. In Along the Lakeshores, Lisa Bondeson presents a comprehensive history of the rise and fall of the railway industry's tourism destinations in Central Maine. She takes the reader along for a ride on the trolley to Winthrop, stopping at each waiting station to describe the various attractions. Through detailed text, she brings to life the excitement of the time when throngs of people flocked to Central Maine for entertainment and the state began to use the moniker "Vacationland."
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