Erika Waters will sign copies of her new book, “Kittery to Bar Harbor: Touring Coastal Maine,” Saturday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at The Reading Corner, 408 Main St.

Maine’s more than 3,000 miles of rocky coastline, picturesque islands, sandy beaches, iconic lighthouses and quintessential New England harbors have lured visitors since the middle of the 19th century. Steamships first transported sportsmen and “rusticators” along the coast. Soon summer colonies formed, and art schools flourished. Expanding train travel led to the development of seaside resorts with grand hotels, while America’s wealthiest families built opulent summer “cottages” in exclusive enclaves. Yachts became common sights along the coast and cruising grew in popularity.

With the 20th century came the automobile and the development of the highway system, including Route 1, which encouraged road trips. This Arcadia Publishing history of touring the Maine coast between 1860 and 1960 offers fascinating insight into the history of Maine, tourism and America itself.

Waters holds a doctorate and is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Maine. A Fulbright Scholar in 2005, she has taught at the University of the Virgin Islands; was founding editor of The Caribbean Writer; and has edited collections of poetry, criticism, drama and fiction. Her research on early writers was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to