Rangeley, Maine, was settled in 1817 when Luther Hoar brought his family from Madrid to a log cabin he had built on the shore of Rangeley Lake. Several others families soon arrived, cleared land, and began farming. It was a small farming community only until the 1850s though. Lumber barons had arrived in the late 1840s, built dams, and started logging the vast timberlands. Soon after, fishermen from Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Washington arrived to fish the multitude of lakes, ponds, and streams. By 1900, Rangeley was a bustling town with several hotels and two railroad lines. The big hotel era ended after World War II, and secondary residences began to dominate the scene. Today, thousands of visitors come to Rangeley annually to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and crystal clear waters and participate in numerous outdoor activities.