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New Bridge History by SmartPhone

New Jersey's first mobile app walking tour for a historic site. Take a tour of Historic New Bridge Landing at your own speed.

Introducing the new handy Historic New Bridge Landing (HNBL) Mobile App Walking Tour -- for use on any smartphone. 

New Bridge Landing was a prosperous mill hamlet, centered upon a bridge strategically placed at the narrows of the Hackensack River, Bergen County, NJ. New Bridge included parts of River Edge, Teaneck, New Milford and Hackensack. New Bridge was the first bridge above Newark Bay until 1790.

After the intro, the nonlinear tour begins with a drawing of a numbered HNBL Map and corresponding links: Prehistory, Steuben House, New Bridge, New Bridge Landing, Tidemill, Demarest House Museum, Campbell-Christie House, Barn, Brett Park, Out Kitchen, The Meadow, Museum & Library and an I Spy Hunt for Kids.

I've included a short history, photos and images of important site features at HNBL. Additional history links are at the bottom of each page. For example on the Steuben House page there are links to "The Steuben Hs in the Rev War" and "Did General Steuben really live here?"

I believe this is New Jersey's first mobile app walking tour for a historic site. I'm curious if a tour through one's phone is the kind of experience people want when rambling about 18th century houses and countryside … or would they prefer to forget about the digital world for a while. The plus side is that it cuts down on visually intrusive interpretive signage.

The programming code I used advertised it had "enabled assistive technologies." If anyone has the ability to test on such software I would appreciate hearing how well it works.

 I can update as needed, no printing costs. It is estimated by one tech watcher that 70% of US will have a "smartphone" by 2014.

A QR code to the mobile app tour is now on HNBL site kiosks. QR codes are a short-cut to web links via a bar code. (See photos for image of a QR code.) To scan a QR code you need to first download the QR code app reader on to your phone. The reader I use was free through iTunes. Or you can directly link here:

http://www.bergencountyhistory.org/mobile/hnbl_tour.html

The Steuben House (1752), Campbell-Christie House (1774) and Demarest House (1794) are landmarks of Bergen Dutch sandstone architecture. They are currently only open for special events by the Bergen County Historical Society.

This history is brought to you by the Bergen County Historical Society, 501(c)(3) all volunteer, non-profit org. We are not a government agency and do not receive any public operating grants or funds, we rely on private donations and membership. BCHS is the largest land owner at HNBL and a steward of the site since 1939.

I plan on featuring an item from the BCHS museum collections in the next blog posting.
-- Deborah Powell, Past BCHS President

Visit our website for more info:  www.bergencountyhistory.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Keith Jensen November 20, 2011 at 02:46 AM
Excellent day of history at the Ft.Lee Historic Park and The Steuben House. Look forward to Sunday's 1pm presentation on the final series of the events. I wish I had an iPhone to test the app in this article, hopefully others will come tomorrow and test this application.

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