For release: Immediately Contact: John Bell, 251-6993
Date: May 10, 2021
TOPEKA, KAN. – A new technology provides Old Prairie Town visitors with a narrated tour of the 1800s replica village and the Ward-Meade Botanical Garden via their mobile device. By downloading the Otocast app and searching Old Prairie Town, visitors can hear the stories of the buildings as recorded by volunteers, some acting in the roles of the Anthony Ward family who established the Ward-Meade Historic Site.
The Otocast app provides 30 minutes of information on Old Prairie Town. The tour begins with a general overview of the Ward-Meade mansion, the botanical garden and the 1800s replica village which offers a view into life at the turn of the century. Jennie Ward Meade, Anthony Ward’s daughter, tells her family’s story including how hard her father worked to make the bricks, fell the trees and build the Ward-Meade mansion, passing away during the year the mansion was finished. Her story is complete with sound effects.
An actor playing the role of Anthony Ward himself, tells how Ward came to Shawnee County and settled the farm land he purchased from a member of the Kaw tribe and set up work as a wheelwright. He talked of travelers passing through on their way west, some of them not even speaking English. He talks of the challenge of life on the prairie and raising a family in a three-room cabin.
Each building in the 1800s village and the Ward-Meade Botanical Garden are featured in the Otocast. By touching a photo on their device, a user can listen to each individual story.
A preview video of the Otocast app is posted on Old Prairie Town’s Facebook page. Interested individuals must download the app and search Old Prairie Town to view the app.
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation includes 60 miles of trails, 2,625 acres of parks and 320 annual days of sporting activities. In addition, the department offers recreation programs, educational programs and golf. A combination of tax dollars, user fees and private donations enables Shawnee County Parks and Recreation to offer parks, sporting and aquatic facilities with state-of-the-art features, and beautiful, nationally recognized gardens.