Phone Tour Will Reveal Cheraw’s Secrets | Olde English District

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Phone Tour Will Reveal Cheraw’s Secrets

Haunted houses, racing preachers, and Dizzy’s musical roots may not seem to have much in common, however they are all part of over 250 years of Cheraw’s intriguing history that will be brought to life in early October.

For more than a year, the Town of Cheraw has been developing The Historic Cheraw Cell Phone Tour with final preparations now being completed for the October launch date.  Funding for the $13,000 project was generated by the town’s hospitality tax, which had been reserved as matching funds for a government grant.

Comprised of Cheraw’s 10-block historic area, the complimentary self-guided cell phone tour will allow residents and visitors alike to visit the town’s storied past and discover over 50 significant tidbits of information.  This intimate experience, which includes 25 stops at homes, churches, and businesses, many pre-dating 1860, will allow participants to become acquainted with some of Cheraw's most impressive architecture and uncover Cheraw’s past like never before.

While larger towns, such as Boston, New York City, and Washington have had cell phone tours, Cheraw may be one of the first towns in the southeast to boast of such a tour.  The Town partnered with Dale Davis of Blue Streak Cell Phone Tours to create the unique journey, which features an entertaining studio-recorded narrative.  At each tour stop, a small exterior sign will list a local phone number and appropriate stop number.  By dialing the number, the caller will access information about each specific site.  Tour map brochures, prompting individuals to take advantage of the tour, will be placed at Town Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lyceum, Old St. David’s Church, and other high traffic areas, including restaurants, shops, and motels.

While the tour may begin at any of the 25 stops, the Town Green has been designated as the first stop.  From downtown, those following the tour will be guided to the riverfront with stops at Old St. David’s and Pee Dee Union Baptist along the way.  The tour then winds down Market and Kershaw streets before going to the birthplace of Dizzy Gillespie on Huger Street.

Two historic homes are featured on McIver Street with more tour stops on Greene, Third, Second and Front streets.  The tour concludes downtown at the Atlantic Coastline Freight Station, now known as the Cheraw Police Department.

“While the tour was initially developed with tourists and newcomers in mind, I believe local residents will also benefit,” David Sides, the town’s Director of Tourism and Community Development commented. “Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to one of Cheraw’s local civic groups about the tour.  During the presentation, I asked the group several questions, all covered on the tour.  If this had been a graded exam, I teasingly told them they would have all failed.”

Future plans include adding the audio portion of the tour to the town’s website, www.cheraw.com.  By pairing the audio with photos, visitors will experience Cheraw’s history, hopefully enticing them to make a personal visit and see Cheraw first-hand.

“Cheraw is very fortunate that our history is so well preserved,” Sides continued. “More of Sherman’s army passed through Cheraw than any other town in South Carolina and amazingly, they left the town essentially untouched.”

“The tour will be an exceptional way to share our history,” said Cheraw mayor Scott Hunter. “Both visitors and residents will experience Cheraw like never before.  Our weekend guests have always commented on our town's beauty.  I believe this cell phone tour will absolutely give them cold chills."

Contact: David Sides at 843.537.8425 or dsides@cheraw.com