Essex Photo History Hikes


Railroad Avenue Recess, Heart & Soul of Essex, Essex Community Historical Society, and the Essex 250th Anniverary Committee are pleased to announce the creation of Essex Photo History Hikes!
There will be a launch event on Saturday, June 29th 10am – 12noon simultaneously at Darkroom Gallery in downtown Essex Junction and Essex Free Library in Essex Center.  This event is free and open to the public.  Community members will have the chance to pick up free guidebooks, walk hikes and talk with local historians.  Guided tours of hikes will be leaving each launch site at 10:30 a.m.

In addition, a H&S Pop-up Coffee Shop will be in full-swing at Darkroom Gallery to celebrate this amazing collaborative effort!

Heart & Soul Coffee
A small team of citizens volunteered hundreds of hours to design three guidebooks: two for downtown Essex Junction and one for Essex Center.  With guidebooks in hand, walkers can follow a map; stopping along the way to compare a turn-of-the-century photo of that spot with what they see before their eyes today.  Historic information enriches the activity, making it a wonderful learning opportunity for all.
A year-in-the-making, the Essex Photo History Hikes project has the potential to support several of the attributes recently identified by the Heart & Soul of Essex initiative as the community’s most common values.  Heart & Soul participants have said that community connections, recreation and lifelong education are all important.  These hikes provide an opportunity for residents to get together for a fun and educational walk around Essex.
As a part of the planning process, principals from elementary schools, Summit Street School, Hiawatha School and Thomas Fleming School; were consulted to ensure that the community activity would also align with curricular needs.  Several teachers have already started using early drafts of the hikes with their students.  All guidebooks will be shared with interested Essex educators.
After June 29th, guidebooks will continue to be available to the public at a variety of locations including: Brownell Library, Essex Free Library, Darkroom Gallery, and the Harriet F. Powell Historical Museum.

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