a1 Simon Fraser University
Historians have interpreted the rise of the wilderness holiday movement in the late nineteenth century as a middle-class response to the belief that modern urban life was leading to social degeneracy. The increasingly popular boys' camps, in particular, are said to represent a conservative reaction against the feminization of society. But the summer camp established by the Barrows family on the Canadian shores of Lake Memphremagog does not fit this mold. Rather, it was a semi-utopian environment in which prominent American social reformers felt free to apply their progressive ideals, with increased gender equality being at the forefront.
J. I. Little is professor of history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. His most recent book is Loyalties in Conflict: A Canadian Borderland in War and Rebellion, 1812–1840 (2008). His current research focuses on Canadian landscape and tourism history.
1 I wish to express my debt to John Scott of the Georgeville Historical Society, Georgeville, Quebec, who has spent years identifying and accumulating sources on the “Shaybacks” family. Thanks also to Robert Menzies for his very helpful responses to my questions, as well as Chris Dummitt, Elise Chenier, and the journal's anonymous readers for their perceptive comments on an earlier draft. Research for this article was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.