A podcast that will guide listeners along a walking tour of historic homes on Montezuma Avenue is currently under production at KSJD.
The podcast is a project of the Cortez Historic Preservation Board, which received a $7,700 grant from the state-funded Certified Local Government program in 2018.
“We’re really excited to be working with the city on it,” said Robert Dobry, director of corporate support for KSJD.
He said the radio station has so far recorded an interview with June Head, historian for the Montezuma County Historical Society, and has plans for more interviews.
Linda Towle, a member of the CHPB, said the board originally planned to use the money to fund two podcasts but received bids that were about twice the cost of the grant, forcing the group to reassess the scope of the project.
“We cut back,” Towle said. “Instead of doing podcasts on two different things – Montezuma Avenue and Ash Street – we had to cut back to doing just one.”
The grant funding must be used by June 2019, but Towle said that won’t be a problem as the production of the podcast won’t take too long.
Towle said the podcast will tell stories about the history and architecture of homes on Montezuma Avenue. She said the target audience is people from Cortez who remember stories of Montezuma Avenue from growing up and younger people who drive by and don’t know the history. She also said there is a domestic and international audience for historic preservation stories.
“With a podcast, anybody anywhere can listen to it, so we’re trying to move into the 21st century,” Towle said. “We had a walking tour brochure, which is still available, but it’s, you know, paper.”
Patricia Lacey, chairwoman of the CHPB, hopes the podcast will be ready in time for the 10th annual Historic Preservation Day on May 18. She said she might give the tour instead of having people listen to the podcast in a group.
“It will be just like the podcast so that if someone has company or visitors, they can take the podcast and do the tour themselves,” Lacey said.
She said she wants people to be able to understand and enjoy the historic buildings of Cortez.
To spread the word about the historical podcast, Towle said there are plans to create table tents with information that will be displayed in hotels, restaurants and public places around town.
She said tourists and residents will see the table tents.
“If they’re having lunch in Cortez on their way to the Grand Canyon, they might spend an extra 10 minutes and drive up to Montezuma and check out some of the places there,” Towle said.
This will be the third historic podcast series in Montezuma County. Mesa Verde Country received a grant in 2017 for two historic podcast series: one called “Mesa Verde Voices” and another called “Ancient Voices.”
Towle said the CHPB is trying to tap into modern technology to reach a wide range of age groups.
The podcast will likely be broken up into three 10- to 15-minute episodes.
“It does seem to be the way that a lot of people get their information these days,” Towle said. “Walking tour brochures are considered old-fashioned, you know, only senior citizens want those.”