This 1871 print from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper shows the cast of characters for a summer in Saratoga. The papas and mammas are in the upper corners, young men at the bottom left, the daughters in the center, and the waitstaff at the bottom right. The composition suggests, and Franklina confirms, that young women were the focal point of this social scene.
The inclusion of the waitstaff here also reveals how important service people were to this way of life. Waiters, porters, concierge, cooks, maids, laundresses, grounds keepers, and musical performers (to name a few) were essential in the running of luxury hotels like the Grand Union.
(Pictured: “At Saratoga” by W.L. Sheppard for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 1871, Library of Congress)
"An Account of Our Waiter"
Having stayed a week at the Grand Union, Franklina found herself bored of the "monotony of life in Saratoga." One spark of amusement was her waiter whom she describes as almost comically dedicated to his job.
He pulls out your chair with a profound bow & hopes that your appetite is good. He takes your order with an air of reckless attention and regrets it is so small. If you move, he springs to your side & implores you to 'allow him to again visit the kitchen on your behalf.'"
For working class men, waiting tables at a respectable hotel or restaurant was a desirable job. Not only were working conditions much safer than a day labor job, but employment was also much more certain and the wages higher.
Camron Stanford House, 2021 www.cshouse.org