Since long before the dawn of Instagram, amateur photographers have frozen in time the buildings, street corners, and landmarks of our fair town. Today, you can follow in their footsteps with a self-guided, photodriven walking tour of the historic downtown. Experience the McDonough of today through the fascinating lens of yesterday. McDonough and step back in time with a self-guided photo walking tour of the downtown area. Discover what has changed (and what has not) by following a series of stone markers in the sidewalk. Each marker bears a historic photograph of a building or event, such as the city’s 1922 centennial parade or the old McDonough Theater. The marker is located in the exact spot where the original photographer stood years ago to capture the image. Your job is to retake that same photo. Each marker includes instructions as to where to point your camera. To get even more involved, you can download high-resolution files of the original historic photographs from the website retakinghistory.com. Try to match your new shots to the originals, and look out for fun contests that will include adding color to a historic photo, matching one half of your new photo with one half of the old, and other creative assignments. Winners will receive photography-related prizes. The McDonough Re-Taking History Photo Walking Tour is the first of many similar tours planned for other communities with historic downtowns. Its aim is to provide a great outdoor experience for visitors and locals of all ages. Educators will find potential learning opportunities over a range of subjects that include architecture, civic planning, and the arts. GPS coordinates etched into each stone marker teach navigation techniques. Geocaching clubs and local groups participating in scavenger hunts incorporate the markers into their activities. The Re-Taking History walking tour is just one small part of a larger project to archive and digitize McDonough’s visual, motion picture, and spoken word history. Scott Evans of McDonough’s Image Doctor Media initiated and is overseeing the project according to the motto, “Preserving the past for the future.” Evans and his team mined historical archives and local residents’ collections for old photographs, then restored, printed, and archived the images as high-resolution digital files that can be easily accessed in the future. All audio recordings featuring local residents have been archived in the same process used by the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. The entire anthology of digitized history will be distributed to every school—both public and private— and library in Henry County. We hope you will come visit our unique little town and spend an afternoon reliving some of our history. Town Trivia The old No. 7 steam engine in Heritage Park pays tribute to a tragic moment in McDonough’s history—the Camp Creek train wreck of 1900, in which 39 people perished after the locomotive plunged off of a washed-out bridge. Town Trivia The historic building that now houses the Seasons Bistro used to hold a funeral home. Today, employees share tales of sink faucets with minds of their own and other spooky sightings. Discover more about the town’s haunted history with the new Ghost Walk of McDonough mobile app, which features a map of haunted locations (complete with descriptions, podcasts, and videos), an EVP recorder feature, and more tools to fuel your ghost hunt. Learn more at webmobilefusion.com/mcdghosttours..
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