Women Hotel Keepers

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Women Hotel Keepers

Peaks Island

View from the Eastern Promenade

Peaks Island was known from the 1880s to the 1910s as the Coney Island of Maine. Sixteen hotels, each with between ten and 60 rooms, were owned by families and run by wives; two were eventually owned and operated by widows. Ferry lines brought visitors to the island where, in its heyday, they could attend performances at the Gem Theater or the Greenwood Garden Playhouse or roller skate in the Majestic Skating Rink. Soon mothers came with their children to spend the summer, and by 1920, 668 summer cottages were added to the 212 year-round homes. The number of visitors declined with the advent of automobiles and after several fires in the 1930s. The current year-round population on Peaks Island is 1,100.


Historic photo courtesy of Library of Congress , LC-DIG-det-4a23479.