SALYERSVILLE - New wayfinding signs are being installed throughout downtown in efforts to use emerging technology to support local tourism.
The signs - 10 in total - are disbursed throughout downtown Salyersville and give directions to local areas and features throughout Magoffin County, such as the Dawkins Line Rail Trail and the Gardner Farm, as well government offices. The signs are also going to be equipped with QR codes that, when scanned by smart phones, will show historic pieces of Salyersville's history.
David May, who works for the City of Salyersville, wrote the application for the grant in December 2015, which allocated $9,650 for the Discover Historic Salyersville project, which also includes placing hanging baskets for town beautification. The city was required to fulfill a 20 percent match, which they are currently doing with in-kind labor.
The Magoffin County High School has chipped in, as well, with two classes embedding the data into the QR codes so that when scanned, pedestrians will be able to read about the Victorian-style courthouse that was built in 1893, or the one built in 1958, with pictures.
"This will be a fluid thing," May said. "We can feature historic businesses and old homesteads, and keep it changing so it doesn't get stale and as much information as possible can be featured."
The information gathered and embedded into the QR codes will also be uploaded to a website, which will be available online through the City of Salyersville's site. Currently, approximately 30 historical sites will be featured.
The grant, which is from the Appalachian Regional Commission Flex-E-Grant through the Department of Local Government, administered by the Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College, covered the signs, brochures with maps to go along with the signs, and 25 hanging baskets. The brochures will provide a walking tour developed around the technology and infrastructure of the website.
Flex-E-Grant funds are made available to economically distressed ARC counties in Kentucky for projects that build local capacity.
"We do have a rich history here and it's bothersome that people don't realize the effort it took to build Salyersville," May said. "I think this will peak the interest and it's just a coincidence the Pokémon app came out at the same time and it's so similar. Hopefully, this will excite young people and make people start to think about their heritage."
Local sources, such as Jimmie Allen and the Magoffin County Historical Society, contributed to the content that will be featured through the QR codes on the signs.
May invites people in the community to submit items that could be featured through the signs by calling City Hall at 606-349-2409.