TUNKHANNOCK — The Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour will soon be revitalized, with self-guided tours of a 2-mile route past nearly 30 buildings in the borough’s historic district, selected for their unique architecture and the lore that surrounds them.
The program will feature a new full-color booklet with a centerfold map, and promotional materials will also be distributed at visitors centers in and outside the area. Structures include homes, churches, businesses, the Wyoming County Courthouse, and the Dietrich Theater, where guided tours in the summer will begin and end.
The project is made possible by grant awards from the Wyoming County Room Tax Fund and the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau (EMVB), as well as the PA Route 6 Alliance, funded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, with funding from the Environmental Stewardship Fund and Heritage Areas Program Fund.
The public roll-out of the project is planned at the Dietrich Theater during the week of Founders Day, Saturday, June 25, when a panel of speakers will cover various facets of the history of both Tunkhannock and Wyoming County. After the presentation, tour guides will conduct the first public tours based on the new brochure, sharing tidbits of history and folklore as they lead groups of pre-registered guests around town.
Prior to Founders Day, volunteer tour guides will conduct “practice runs” with students, Scouts, and other groups.
The tours will continue on Thursday evenings in July, with registration handled by the Dietrich Theater. The project partners are working with the Tunkhannock Business and Professional Association, in hopes of developing package deals that might include dinner specials and special shopping deals for tour-goers before or after their walks.
The brochures will be available at the Dietrich Theater, WCHS, the Endless Mountains Visitors Center, the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and other locations during their respective hours of operation so that residents and guests in Tunkhannock can guide themselves around the borough at other times.
There have been significant changes in Tunkhannock over the past two decades, which will be reflected in the revamped tour. One of the primary goals of the project is to catalog and acknowledge the historic resources in the face of Tunkhannock’s progress. The publicity around tours such as this have also been shown to encourage maintenance of properties on and adjacent to the tour route.
Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour project partners will assemble for a work meeting in the Children’s Room of the Dietrich Theater at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28. Project coordinator Rick Hiduk and promotional materials designer Diane Turrell will demonstrate the progress of the project before soliciting advice and input as to how to “fill in the blanks,” especially as it pertains to the history of the buildings.
While the names of some local historians and potential tour guides have been provided, the committee knows that there are likely many others who have stories and old photos and a sincere interest in preserving the information and artifacts for the generations to come.
Those interested in attending the January work meeting, or who would like to be involved as the project evolves, are asked to contact the Dietrich Theater at 570-996-1500.
More details will be made available to the public as the Historic Tunkhannock Walking Tour progresses.