Carmel-Clay Historical Society looks to preserve history with new digital platform

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CARMEL, Ind. — In 2017, it’s not uncommon to find people staring at their phones. The Carmel-Clay Historical Society is now hoping to use that simple fact to their advantage.

Last week, the society launched a new self-guided historic tour platform. It essentially functions the same as the tours they currently provide, only now it’s built to fit right in the palm of your hand.

“This is basically a history lesson on your phone,” Executive Director Emily Ehrgott said.

Ehrgott says the goal of the new platform is to remind people of Carmel’s rich history. Which she says can be easily lost or forgotten as the town experiences a new construction boom”.

“Carmel has obviously changed enormously and we’re trying to keep new and old people familiar with how it was in the good old days,” she said

History buffs can use the app to visit caramel’s historic sites, which appear as pins on a map. They can also see old photos and listen to brief history lessons. There’s even a feature that has a “slider bar” so users can scrub between historic and current images of historic landmarks.

“We’ve been here forever, almost working on 200 years. So we want people to realize that we can’t see where we’re going if we can’t look back to where we’ve been,” Ehrgott said.

Ehrgott said the platform would not have been possible without the help of Ball State University. History Professor Ronald Morris worked with the historical society and his students were the ones who actually designed and built the platform. He says it took two semesters to develop a finished product.

“As the semesters went along it just sort of built like an avalanche, it just kept growing larger and larger,” he said.

Ehrgott says the society plans to add more sights and stops to the app in the future. For more information, click here.

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