Visitors to downtown Leesburg can now get a history lesson on a leisurely stroll.
The town formally debuted its walking tour app, Tour Leesburg, during last night’s Town Council meeting.
The app can be downloaded on a smartphone via Google Play or Apple Store. Viewers may follow along on the smartphone as it guides them from site to site on a walking tour, or can even turn on the GeoAlerts feature which will alert them to when they happen to be near a site on the tour. The tour is narrated by Brian Boucher, a history enthusiast as well as the town’s deputy director of planning and zoning.
Currently one tour is live on the app and features the highlights of historical Leesburg. Eleven sites are included on the tour, which involves about a mile of walking. These include the John Janney House, Harrison Hall, and Market Station. The app also has information for visitors on the locations of public restrooms, parking, and other important locations downtown.
The content for the app was put together by Karleen Kovalcik, who has been interning at the Thomas Balch Library this summer. Kovalcik graduated in May with a master’s degree in public history and a graduate certificate in cultural resource management. She will begin a job as the executive site manager of the Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries this month.
Kovalcik has also been working on a black history tour, which is set go live later this week. The town also has options to add other thematic tours to the app, with Deputy Town Manager Keith Markel citing architecture and Civil War history as possibilities.
Markel said the subscription service for the tour costs the town about $300 per month, with some initial set-up costs.