Jamestown Talking Trail
By Hannah Nyland
In 2016, Jamestown unveiled its Talking Trail, a self-guided audio tour through the towns sights and attractions, from the National Buffalo Museum to Fort Seward. After checking out the tour myself, I have some thoughts to share with you! Essentially, there are a now signposts around the town that look like this:
Each gives a number to call on your cell phone; once you’ve called in, you’ll receive narration on a nearby event or location.
While you can take the tour from the comfort of your home simply by dialing the right numbers, I would really recommend checking out the sights at the same time. I found that seeing the historical sites and artifacts the audio described enhanced the experience. For example, when I was up at the Frontier Village, I was able to explore the pioneer style buildings while hearing about their history at the same time – it added a layer of immersion. Plus, it’s always nice to get some fresh air!
I particularly recommend “Buffalo Hunt,” “Predators of the Buffalo,” and “The Bison Bone Trade” for anyone with an interest in history and the cultures of Native American tribes; the story of how they and the North American bison were nearly driven to extinction is both profound and tragic. “Louis L’Amour” and ”Louis L’Amour and the Alfred Dickey Public Library” are likely to be of interest to fans of the prolific author. As a child, I lived right next door to the Stutsman County Memorial Museum, a local museum housed in the historical Lutz mansion; I often explored the place with friends, so I’ve got a particular nostalgia for that portion of the audio tour.
However, one of the nice things about the way the Talking Trail is set up is that you can pick and choose what interests you, so if bison or westerns aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other topics to learn about. If you have any interest in Talking Trail, I highly recommend that you stop by Jamestown Tourism and pick up a Talking Trail brochure, which lists all locations on the tour and their phone numbers.