Self-guided tours provide ‘great insight’ on Washington’s history

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Several locals have banded together to create self-guided audio tours that they hope will give Washington residents and tourists a unique way of learning about the city’s history and lore.

The audio tours can be accessed at washingtonncaudiotours.com. The access code for any of the five available tours costs $7.25; local realtor Scott Campbell, who helped spearhead the creation of the tours, said the access code fees help keep the platform up and running. The five tours available now are: East Side Historic District, West Side Historic District, African American History Tour, Historic Port of Washington, and the Washington Haunts Ghost Walk.

“For quite a few years, somebody every now and then would mention that we have a walking tour, a printed tour; we should do more of a visual audio tour,” Campbell said. “And everybody always thought it was a great idea. Vail Rumley and I were sitting around one night and somehow we started talking about this again, and we said it’s a great idea, so I guess we need to do it.”

After selecting a host platform, they reached out to others around the community for guidance and assistance. Roland Wyman agreed to help build the site, and several others agreed to provide expertise and voiceovers for the tours.

“Terry Rollins has been doing the Washington Ghost Walk tour for a long time, and it’s very popular and people love it,” Campbell said. “But of course with COVID, he really hasn’t been able to do it. So we approached him … and he loved the idea.”

Leesa Jones, executive director of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum, joined on as the coordinator and narrator of the African American History Tour. Historic Port of Washington Project Ray Midgette took on a similar role for the Historic Port of Washington tour, and Wyman narrated the historic district tours.

“It’s the people who are passionate about those presentations who are doing those presentations,” Campbell said.

Because the tours are self-guided, participants can start and stop at any time. Access codes grant users multiple days to finish their tours. And they don’t necessarily have to be in town to participate.

Campbell said the list of tours will be expanded eventually.

“I think it will be great insight for folks who come to Washington who are either visiting family, day-tripping to Washington or weekend tripping to the area,” Campbell said. “It’s easy, it’s very informative, it’s a great experience.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the tours will be held Friday at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce Building. Campbell said at that time details will be provided as to how people can obtain a free access code to try out the tours for a limited time.