A slew of hardworking community members are currently working diligently to bring a brand new, free entertainment option to our community in the form of a new app!
The app, entitled “Walking Tour of Historic Madison”, launches mid-November and will take residents and visitors alike on a guided historical walk of downtown Madison and surrounding areas. Did you know that Noble Passage Interiors downtown used to be a bank vault 100 years ago and that an infamous robbery occurred there in 1920? Neither did I!
Many stories just like this will be told through the app, which will bring something fresh, unique, and fun for all to participate in at their leisure and enjoy.
Project Manager Bailey Erickson says that she is thrilled for residents and visitors of all ages to enjoy this brand new app together. She says that her vested interest in this project stems from her time living in Europe in which she participated in many Volksmarches.
“If you’ve lived in Germany, you’re familiar with what a Volksmarch is. People would often start at City Hall and grab a start card. From there they’d followed a pre-marked path through the city that would take you from interesting alleyways, vineyards, forests, and more. This was such a fun way to learn about each individual city!”
Erickson, who worked at the European Investigation Office for a bit during her time overseas, continued to share that as one would go along, he or she would get the start card stamped. There would often be a prize at the very end too!
“I really, really miss volksmarching, and with such a large military community here that’s lived overseas, I’m sure many others miss it too.”
Erickson says that Madison is set up perfectly for a volksmarch of sorts because of its rich history.
This historic walking tour app will officially launch on Saturday, November 13th, and will coincide with the presentation of the newly renovated historic Madison Roundhouse on Front Street.
On November 13th at 1 p.m., guests are invited to venture downtown for the presentation and then begin enjoying the app.
Girl Scout Finley Koswoski, who is working on her Gold Award, has been working to record people talking about each historical app. Her hard work will be uploaded and heard by thousands that will use this app.
Erickson shared that guests will be delighted to find Girl Scouts stationed throughout the course who are dressed and ready to tell historical stories from various points of interest.
“Cynthia Curtis with The Rotary Club of Madison has made 15-20 costumes that Girl Scouts will wear, and they’re beautiful!”
Debbie Overcash, President of the Madison Station Historical Preservation Society, will also provide costumes for the Scouts to wear.
Ashley Creekmore with Girl Scouts of North Alabama is coordinating this particular, very special aspect of the unveiling.
Erickson continued to share that the idea of Girl Scouts dressing up and sharing stories from various locations isn’t actually a brand new idea; It was initially launched in 2018 but came to a screening halt early last year due to the pandemic.
“We were forced to pause for a while, but what we’re rolling out with now will be much more user-friendly and enjoyable for people of all ages to get out and do.”
Erickson says that they hope to work with ancestors of those featured in the stories and have them out and about on November 13th to share any and all stories that they’re willing to entertain attendees with.
When asked how the community can currently get on board and support this incredible new venture, Erickson says that residents can do one of two things.
For starters, following along with the “Walking Tour of Historic Madison” Facebook page by giving it a follow and keeping up with updates.
Additionally, community members who have any affiliation with a historic home or business in downtown Madison are encouraged to reach out and contribute their knowledge to the project. If that’s you or someone you know, please click here to send a quick email to get connected!
The project is now a joint effort among the Rotary Club of Madison-Sunset Group, the Madison Visionary Partners, the Madison Station Historical Preservation Society, and the Madison Chamber of Commerce.