In the four decades straddling the turn of the 19th century, from around the 1880s to the 1920s, the small Ontario town of Niagara-on-the-Lake experienced market growth in the tourism industry. They were catering predominantly to the wealthy upper middle-class Canadian and American visitors. The lakeside settlement offered numerous opportunities for polite recreation. Among them was lawn tennis, a sport that sat somewhat outside the mainstream in terms of its high-class mixed-sex participation demographic. At the same time, its players were imbued with a solid amateur philosophy, and local boosters recognized the sport's potential to generate tourism income. Niagara-on-the-Lake has a long history as a "crossroads," and this was very much in evidence from a social standpoint during a long period from 1880 to 1920. The sport of tennis was new, and Niagara-on-the-Lake became a hub where players from Canada and the United States could gather to compete and also to socialize from 1880 to 1920.