Issue 5-18-14 Website - page 11

A couple of weeks ago, four
signs appeared mysteriously:
“PathThroughHistory - -LeRoy
House/ Jell-OGallery.” Twoare
onRoute19asyoucomeup to the
cornerofRoute5. And twoare in
front of LeRoy House. It’s easy
to miss them, but at this point,
I’ll take them, since three years
agowewere receiving registered
letters from the Department of
Transportation tellingus tomove
the sign on the back of theWiss
orwewould befined.
With the demise of the Wiss,
thesigncamedown. Inevercould
figure out why the State kept
talking about heritage tourism
as a major economic factor but
God forbid that we would want
to let people know how to find
the Jell-OMuseum, or for that
matter, any other museum. So
that there would be a state-
wide program called “Pathways
Through History” to promote
heritage tourism, it sounded like
a great idea.
There were a lot of meetings
to decide which sites would be
included in the program. There
were to be two sites in each
county.Wewere told that it was
necessary to have handicapped
bathroomsand tobeopenallyear
and tohaveanannual attendance
of over 10,000 people. So inmy
mind,wequalified. But someone
out there picked sites that didn’t
meet those criteria.
I continued to lobby for the
Jell-O Museum. And then we
were notified that we would
be one of twelve sites in the
region tobe included inaproject
developed by the students in
the “game” curriculum of the
computer science program at
RIT. Theywoulddevelop an app
foryour iPhone thatwouldallow
you to play a game at each site.
It’s a pretty neat idea.
The other sites included the
Medina Railroad Museum, the
Attica and Arcade Railroad,
Ganondagon Native American
site in Victor, the Rochester
Museum and Science Center,
the Susan B. Anthony House,
ClaraBartonHouse inDansville,
theWomen’s RightsMuseum in
Seneca Falls, and Letchworth.
Unfortunately, Letchworth
couldn’t participate because
there is limited phone service in
the park.
About a year ago, the students
visited all the sites and took
picturesof stuff thatwould trigger
this game. It has taken quite a
while to develop the program.
I think that some of the sites
were demonstrated at RIT at
the “Innovation” event the first
week in May. This week, there
is a preview of the Path Through
History project at Union Station
in NewYork City. The Susan B.
Anthony site will be the featured
site from this region. (When the
game program for the Jell-O
Gallery is ready, I’ll letyouknow.)
But I amdigressing from the
signs. The signs are apparently
partof thePathThroughHistory
project.Wewere told, that signs
would be placed on the NYS
Thruway, directing folks to
the PathThroughHistory sites
and indeed that has happened
in Batavia and at some exits
along the Thruway. However,
that will not happen at the
LeRoy exit, because Exit 47 is
an exit to another Interstate - -
Interstate 90 to Interstate 490.
The signage
is governed
by the Federal
Interstate law,
which does not
allow those
signs that tell
us about gas
stations, hotels,
attractions, and restaurants
at those exits – Interstate to
Interstate. I discovered that
fifteen years ago, whenwe tried
toget signson theThruway. And
that is why we found partners
to help pay for the billboard
that is on the Thruway between
Batavia and LeRoy: “Next Exit
- - Jell-OMuseum - - LeRoy.”
That billboard is not cheap, but
thanks to McDonalds, Subway,
D&RDepot, theLeRoyBusiness
Council,and theGeneseeCounty
Chamber of Commerce, we’ve
beenable tokeep that sign there.
We know it works because
lots of people tell us, “We saw
the billboard and decided to get
off theThruway.”Of course the
problemwas that once they got
into LeRoy, there weren’t any
signs telling them to turn left
at the light and come down to
East Main Street, but now there
are signs, thanks to the “Path
Through History” program. I
guess good things come to those
thatwait. As theysay,“It’sasign
of the times.”
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