Sunday, April 10, 2016

Set up a Walking History Tour in your Town

It is not too difficult to create a historical walking tour in your town, and generate some interest in the history of the area. Every place has some history--so see if you can find some good landmarks all easily reached in a walking tour that will take an hour or so. To learn more about the history of the area you live in, you can talk to the historians and archivists at the local and county historical societies. A great source of historical information about buildings, streets, and agricultural and park history can often be found in old photos. These can be found more and more often online, but if they are not there, they may be held at the historical societies or they may be published in books about your area.

Once you have determined your landmarks and their great stories to be shared on the tour, make a simple map of the tour, including all the destinations. On the day of the tour you may want to ask the walkers to find interesting, funny, or strange things that you may place near the landmarks, or that may already be there to be viewed. In that sense, it can become a treasure hunt.

If possible, ask for a volunteer or two to man the landmarks and to explain some of the history when walkers arrive. If the volunteer has personal ties to the landmark, or personal knowledge of its history, this can make the visit very meaningful to the walkers.

Of course you will want to follow up with photos and a written report, which can appear in a local newspaper or on a historical society website.

This should be a great event for everyone, generating interest in the past, present, and future of the town and its landmarks.

Don't forget to involve people in the know about the town and its history, and don't forget to get any permissions and permits you might need, and of course to publicize the event.

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