Heritage Abbotsford Society has launched a new website along with the first components of a planned regional heritage mapping project.
Executive director Christina Reid said the projects are designed to make Abbotsford’s story easier to access for the general public. She said the society, now in its 51st year, wants to put heritage front and centre in Abbotsford.
The society decided to convert two of their existing walking tours into digital walking tours, to use as pilot projects, with the idea to partner with other heritage organizations throughout the Fraser Valley.
Reid started by contacting the Mennonite Heritage Museum, who jumped at the opportunity to partner up.
Since then, they have been joined by other organizations from Chilliwack to White Rock and Langley.
“The idea is that you’ll be able to start at one end of the Fraser Valley and cross to the other side, all while using the same app to learn about the heritage of the places you pass,” Reid said.
Users can install the free download to their mobile devices to find out what tours, photos, and historic local businesses and attractions are nearest to them.
Heritage Abbotsford has used this app to take people on their Historic Downtown and Matsqui Village guided walking tours, showcasing the history in their immediate surroundings.
At each stop on their journey, users will find themselves standing on the spot that a historic photo was taken. Using the app, they can compare past and present by way of carefully recreated and mapped-out then-and-now photos.
To further promote Abbotsford’s heritage, the society has also launched a new Heritage Abbotsford website, and revamped and relaunched the Trethewey House website.
The society hopes to take their historic collections online in late 2020.
“We are ready to roll out the digital collection, but as usual, fundraising comes first,” Reid said.
To use the app, download the OnThisSpot app on Google Play or the App Store. The websites are heritageabbotsford.ca and tretheweyhouse.ca.