Hermiston Girl Scout offering historical walking tour of the city

<p><strong>Hermiston Girl Scout Megan Kane, left, poses for a photo with fellow Girl Scout Veronica Gomez earlier this year at the Women’s Expo at the Hermiston Conference Center. For a Girl Scout project this year, Kane compiled information and interviews to accompany a historical tour of Hermiston. The recording will be available Thursday.</strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p>

Hermiston Girl Scout Megan Kane knew she wanted her Gold Award Girl Scout project to have a lasting impact, and she knew she wanted it to have something to do with history.

After some thought, she decided to host an audio walking tour of Hermiston, the city in which she and many others have spent their lives but may not know that much about its history.

“Before the project, I didn’t know much about the history of Hermiston,” she said. “I always thought history was an interesting subject. Even a lot of adults don’t know the history of the town, so I thought it would be good for a lot of people.”

Kane has spent the past year conducting interviews and compiling information about Hermiston as part of her project. On Thursday, she said her project report will be available in an audio format that people can listen to while touring the city.

A link to the audio tour will be available on YouTube, or people can download an audio CD onto their smartphones or tablets at the Hermiston Public Library. To find the tour on YouTube, she said people can just search “Historical walking tour of Hermiston.” She said the first 50 people to complete the tour after downloading it at the library will receive a patch that reads “Historical tour.”

Kane said each stop lasts about five minutes, and the tour can be done either on foot or by car.

The tour features seven locations: the old Armand Larive building, which is where the city’s original arch still stands, the first hospital, the Peace Pole by McKenzie Park, The Arc building, the Umatilla County Fairgrounds, Main Street and the old Carnegie Library. On the recording, prominent area residents talk about their experiences and memories of the town, in addition to historical facts about the locations at each stop, Kane said.

Some of the people Kane interviewed for the project include former Hermiston Mayor and current City Councilman Frank Harkenrider, Umatilla Chamber of Commerce Director Karen Hutchinson-Talaski, her father and mother — Michael and Michelle Kane, and Marie Baldo, Hermiston Public Library librarian.

Kane said she learned a number of new things about Hermiston during her project, but the information she learned about the old hospital was her favorite.

“It was built in 1936,” she said. “Before that hospital was built, there was nowhere for people to go and get treated. People opened up their homes to other people.”

Kane said her project was a lot harder than she thought it would be, but she is proud of the result and of her progress with Girl Scouts. She said she always knew she wanted to earn her Gold Award accreditation and is proud of her accomplishments.

“It is really rewarding,” she said of the whole experience.

Kane said she is interested in receiving feedback from those who take the tour this week. She said people can either leave a comment on the YouTube video or fill out a short comment card at the library.

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