The Historical Association of Lewiston has unveiled its first ever, free-of-charge, audio tour of Lewiston, which includes some of the village's most historic stories.
HAL received a grant from the East Hill Foundation for revamping the exhibits in the Lewiston Museum. Part of that project included audio tour wands, which are hand-held devices that deliver pre-recorded explanations of exhibits. The wands are to be used with a walking tour map of Lewiston. The historical sites each have a number. When plugged into the wand, the numbers trigger a recording.
"People always do have questions about the places that they're looking at," said HAL Executive Director and Curator Pam Hauth.
The updated walking map includes snippets of the history of Lewiston's most historic buildings, homes and sites.
"We've had this walking tour map for a while now, so this is an enhancement to it," said HAL Vice President Leandra Collesano.
Using the audio tour wands with the map will provide the listener more in-depth information about the rich history residents enjoy in Lewiston. History buffs will learn about Lewiston's role in the Underground Railroad, about famous (and infamous) personalities in Lewiston's past, and why Lewiston is where it is. There is no set path for the wands; participants can visit the historic sites in whichever order they prefer.
"I think it's an added feature for tourists that come here, but I also think it's exciting for people who actually live here and may not know about the rich history," Collesano said. "There are buildings and places they go by maybe every day and don't know the wealth of history that's occurred, whether it's the building itself or an event or a famous person that may have been there. I think's it's going to open some eyes."
"And it's a fun way to learn about it, too," Hauth said.
"I just think this brings us up to speed with being a contender for other cool places to visit," said HAL publicist Lisa Ohanessian.
There are a total of 10 wands available. Those interested in taking the enhanced walking tour of Lewiston can borrow the wands at the Lewiston Museum, 469 Plain St., and at the Lewiston Welcome Center, 895 Center St., during operating hours.
Use of the wands is free, however, each borrower must leave a driver's license until his or her wand is returned.
Donations are gratefully accepted.
For more information, or for hours of operation, call the Lewiston Museum at 716-754-4214 or the Lewiston Welcome Center at 716-754-7030.