The Village of Lake Bluff has been making plans to celebrate the 125th anniversary of their founding for months, but the corona virus had other ideas in store.
But not all is lost! The Lake Bluff History Museum has had a Walking Tours app in the works for years that they planned to unveil at the 2020 4th of July Parade. Since this annual summer event has been canceled, the team fast-tracked the launch of the app so that people could put their quarantine time to good use. The app is available TODAY to download for free!
“The Lake Bluff History Museum has been giving guided tours for years,” says Steve Krause, treasurer for the museum and a key member of the committee that brought the app to life. “We like that people can now have this information on their phones and enjoy these tours on their own time.”
Krause, a Lake Bluff resident since 1975, says that the Village is filled with historical significance.
“I’m not sure that many people know that most of our downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places,” he says. “Or, that Lake Bluff once had a 400-room hotel. It’s all very fascinating.”
The free Lake Bluff Walking Tours app provides digital tours of the village’s most iconic and historically significant buildings, neighborhoods and stories while sharing a few secrets along the way.
If you download the app today, you’ll notice there are two tours available:
- Uptown Commercial District–The center of commercial activity in the Village from the 1880s to the 2020s. This tour starts at Village Hall and takes you through the commercial district and nearby neighborhoods.
- Camp Meeting Grounds–From 1875 to 1900, the Lake Bluff Camp Meeting Association sponsored summer religious and social events on their grounds in east Lake Bluff. This tour takes you through the neighborhoods established during this era.
Each of these tours lasts between 60-90 minutes and covers about a mile of territory. These tours are a great distraction from sheltering in place, and it’s fun to do alone or with members of your household with whom you are hunkering down. You could even do it with a friend while keeping a safe social distance. And those of you who live out of town can also enjoy using the app for a fun trip down memory lane.
Eight more tours are planned for the Lake Bluff Walking Tours app, with several to be added this summer.
The Lake Bluff Walking Tours app offers a modern, digital extension of the Lake Bluff History Museum’s popular docent-led tours. The app includes many period photographs from the museum’s archives. In addition to Krause, this app was produced by museum board members Mark Dewart and Dan Huston, using a highly regarded history tour software package. The first two tours were narrated by Lake Bluff voice-over talent Lise Dominique and Walt Sloan.
The app is a gift to the community from the Lake Bluff History Museum and Lake Bluff 125 Committee with support from Abbott in honor of the village’s 125th anniversary. You can download the Lake Bluff Walking Tours app from the Apple App Store (available now) and Google Play (coming soon).