You can take a tour of Port Deposit using your cell phone as your guide.
The walking tour has been around for a few years and, although the historic buildings look the same, the signs outside each location are much different.
The handmade, temporary signs served their purpose but have been replaced with new, permanent signs which were purchased through a grant from the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway.
"The new signs are much more visible and much nicer," said Louise Land, who helped to establish the tour along with Linda Read and other Port Deposit Chamber of Commerce members.
"They are colorful and have a logo of the town's mascot, Rhonda."
Each of the 11 stops on the tour has a new sign. The sign instructs visitors to call a phone number (1-585-546-1776) and then press a number that corresponds with
that particular landmark. A recording, which lasts between one and two minutes, provides a history of the building. The descriptions are also available on the town's website, portdeposit.org.
1 - 1 Center Street which used to be Dr. Richards' hospital and is now apartments.
2 - 6 South Main Street, the bank building in Center Square.
3 - post office
4 - Gerry House
5 - Port Deposit Presbyterian Church
6 - The steps on Main Street next to town hall referred to as Jacob's Ladder and also known to residents as the Liberty Steps.
7 - Archway that once served as entrance to Tome School.
8 - The promenade
9 - The Port Deposit Heritage at the Paw Paw Building
10 - Tome School for Boys
11 - Rock Run Mill
Especially busy in the summer, Port Deposit attracts visitors year round. One bus company brings tourists to town several times a year, Town of Port Deposit administrative assistant Kathy Gray said.
Land says allowing visitors to use their cell phones to learn about the town's history serves two purposes. In addition to attracting tourists, it also provides local businesses with some potentially valuable information.
"We investigated how cell phones could be used to identify where people were coming from and when they were coming to the town," Land said.
"We use the information to gather baseline statistics so we know important details for our businesses."
Land said hundreds of people from across the country have used the service, including someone from Utah.
The chamber of commerce will also be able to tell how tourism is affected by the opening of the Visitors Center.
The monthly fee to operate the phone system is paid for by the Port Deposit Chamber of Commerce," Land said.