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Touring New England, 1820–1970

Soconyland Road MapThis Historic New England panel exhibition illustrates how our region's natural and built environments have been tourist destinations for three centuries. Touring New England, 1820-1970 explores why and how tourists traveled, where they stayed, what they purchased, and how they recorded their experiences. Sixteen engaging panels present a variety of material, including:

  • The range of attractions: natural, historical, and broadly cultural
  • The nature of New England resorts: seaside, mountain, iconic towns and cities, and outdoor history museums
  • The infrastructure, built environment, and material culture of tourism: rails and roads; hotels, motels, cabins, and campgrounds; roadside restaurants, gas stations, roadside billboards and signs, and souvenir shops; maps, signposts, tourist guides, postcards, and other souvenirs
  • Class- and race-related aspects of touring in New England: elite, middle, and working classes; white and African American; a variety of cultural and ethnic communities; tourist and tourist industry worker
  • Other aspects of the tourist economy in six states

Three introductory panels introduce tourism in New England generally, with panels devoted to changes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Additional panels address each state individually, highlighting marked differences in their attractions and visitors.

Each panel includes a general statement followed by case studies to track chronological developments. One of the panels, Bringing your Vacation Home, highlights selected objects that can be easily attached and reattached for travel. The exhibition also includes My Summer Vacation, a separate, family board-game interactive component.

The colorful exhibition comprises sixteen panels (54 x 40 in.) with text and images that can easily be wall-mounted. Venues can easily add local material, photographs, and artifacts.

View the exhibition panels


Rent the exhibition

  • 15 panels with text and images
  • 1 Bringing your Vacation Home souvenir object panel
  • My Summer Vacation stand alone interactive game
  • Condition notebook

Available: November 2016

Fee: $3,500 for a three-month period plus one-way shipping.

Please contact us for a full checklist.



Touring New England, 1820–1970