A Trip to the Mountains: Travel and Social Relations in the Catskill Mountains of New York

  • Maria O’Donovan


The Catskill Mountains in upstate New York have been a tourist destination since the early nineteenth century. At a superficial level, the history of Catskill tourism follows a basic trajectory from elite destination in the nineteenth century to more inclusive tourist area in the twentieth century. This trajectory incorporates a “trickle down” theory of tourism and leisure that masks the complexity of changes in social relations. Jewish tourism in the Catskills evidences how class, ethnic, and gender relations intertwined in the creation of a specific place—the Borscht Belt. Archaeology in the Borscht Belt places tourism within larger capitalist relations in America and complicates concepts of tourism as consumption and leisure.


Tourism Catskill Mountains New York Jewish immigrants 



My thanks to the many Public Archaeology personnel who worked on the Park Inn and Fleischer Hotel projects. I would also like to thank LouAnn Wurst, Lynda Carroll, and the anonymous reviewer for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. As always, all mistakes are the responsibility of the author. Finally, my best to all the participants who made the SHA session in York so enjoyable and stimulating.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Archaeology FacilityBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA

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