The father and sons team of (top, from right) Mike, Evan and Adam Biro are credited for transferring the Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour brochure into a phone-friendly mobile app. Adam (above, right) shows the app to Wyoming County Commissioner Ron Williams.
Photos and Story by Rick Hiduk
Representatives from the Wyoming County Cultural Center joined the county commissioners meeting on July 11 to proudly announce an enhancement of the Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour. When the tour was developed in 2016, it was suggested that a mobile app would be a logical future enhancement. The Cultural Center found not only the funding to follow that dream but able minds among the Dietrich Theater’s volunteer core to bring the plans to fruition.
Joining Dietrich Theater director Erica Rogler at the commissioners meeting were Mike, Evan and Adam Biro and Jean Ruhf of the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau (EMVB). Mike serves as the Dietrich Theater’s webmaster, and his sons are currently following in his footsteps, acquiring knowledge on graphic design and web-based technology via classes and hands-on projects.
Mike related that the core of the project was the printed brochure that was the staple of last year’s self-guided tours, which needed to be transfered into a mobile-friendly format. Evan assisted with graphic design and visual aspects of the app, and Adam tested the finished product before its official roll out.
Rogler presented a gift basket of theater-themed goodies to the father-son team in exchange for their “gift to the community.” The commissioners were pleased with the outcome of the project, which they had helped to fund with Wyoming County Room Tax funds, which are distributed by EMVB.
Judy Mead asked the young men what their future plans are. Evan responded that he is already enrolled and taking classes with Penn Foster College. Adam, while undecided, is considering a career in computer programming as he begins his sophomore year at Tunkhannock Area High School.
There is no need to download the app. Simply log on to www.dietrichtheater.com and scroll down the menu bar to Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour. A tour map can be accessed that leads to the 40 homes and businesses on the two-mile route, and tapping on the thumbnail photo of each structure leads to a brief description.
Rogler suggested that a future enhancement to the app might include audio narratives of the properties and other pertinent Tunkhannock history by the volunteer tour guides. She routinely sees people walking around town with the printed brochures and views the mobile app as a way to share the county seat’s rich history with those who are more tech-reliant.
Ruhf told the commissioners that the Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour has been enormously popular with visitors to the area. A group from Erie who took a driving tour of the three-county area served by EMVB told her that they plan to return soon to spend an entire day in Tunkhannock to admire its classic architecture.
To read more about the Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour, read here: http://www.endlessmtnlifestyles.com/?p=5764
Jean Ruhf (standing, above) of the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau shows Commissioner Judy Mead the new phone app.
Current photos of Tunkhannock homes on the Walking Tour:
Piatt and Wright Houses (1896 & 1869)
Dewitt House (1863)
Fassett House (1896)
Benjamin Slocum House (pre 1803)