The forested and rural Belgrade Lakes region in central Maine has been a summer tourist area for more than 125 years, attracting families to its seven lakes--called "ponds" by locals--that are interconnected by streams. This chain of lakes acquired its collective name from the town of Belgrade, which borders five of the seven lakes, including the three largest ones. In 1849, a railroad built two stations in Belgrade, and by the 1870s, the combination of the lakes, trains, and numerous farms offering fresh produce and dairy products fostered the growth of tourism in the area. During the golden age, from around 1900 to 1945, grand hotels, resort spas, and family and youth camps proliferated, and the visits of celebrities, politicians, authors, and industrialists added glamour and sometimes scandal to Belgrade summers. The patterns of tourism in the United States changed after World War II; summer has become the season when thousands of snowbirds return to their cottages on the lakes, although hundreds of boys and girls still participate in the fun and educational youth camps.