Step Back in Time to offer
walking tours of historic sites
tourism company in Bedford
to offer unique perspective on areas history
Michella M. Marino
(May 2007) The new tourism venture started
by Autumn Kruer of Bedford, Ky., and called A Step Back in Time
will soon be offering walking tours for local Jefferson County, Ind.,
and Trimble County, Ky., residents and visitors alike. Locations such
as cemeteries, the Ohio River and the Richwood Plantation in Milton
will be among those sites featured.
Bedford, Ky., dresses the
part for the history tours
she is offering this year in
the Ohio Valley region.
Kruer has been a medical transcriptionist for the past
22 years, but history has always been her passion. She has lived in
Trimble County for nearly two decades, but her familys roots lie
in the West Virginia and Virginia. Kruers relatives have resided
there since the American Revolution, and many remain today.
Its in my culture. I know who my people are, she said.
Kruers love for history, traditions, legend and lore have always
been deeply imbedded within her, as they have in other family members.
Kruers cousin, Sherri Brake-Recco, founded the Haunted Heartland
Tours in Ohio. According to the companys website, it was voted
into the top 10 best ghost tours by Haunted America Tours.
While Kruer finds the ghost tours interesting, her tourism venture will
go in a different direction. She plans on focusing more on the local
peoples history. She wants her customers to learn about the average
people of Madison and the surrounding areas in times past.
I realized something was missing (from this town), she said.
Its the peoples history. We seldom hear about the
everyday people, the guts of this town. Kruer believes lore and
legend fall into this peoples history, particularly with the various
sub-groups she studies, such as the Irish-Catholic or German immigrants
who settled here in the early 19th century.
Kruer has spent the past year and half researching local people, events,
customs, legends and the area in general to provide information for
her tours. She focuses on anything that grabs my eye.
Kruer uses online sources, newspaper articles, abstracts and also local
people as sources, particularly since they can fill in the legends and
lore of the area. Janice Barnes, the Madison-Jefferson County Public
Librarys specialist on Madison and Jefferson County, has been
particularly helpful to Kruer when it comes to understanding the history
of people patterns and the roles of churches and the immigrants in the
As far as support from local businesses and other tourism offices are
concerned, Kruer said, So far, Ive gotten nothing but encouragement.
Annie McClintock of the Evergreen Trading Co., 103 E, Main St., in Madison,
has helped Kruer get things under way and offered endless support for
her endeavor, Kruer said. Marci Jones of the Madison Area Convention
and Visitors Bureau, said she is excited for Kruers tours
to begin so she can start spreading the word.
Kruers tours will feature a different idea than normal,
Jones said. People are always looking for something different.
Shes offering something unique that no ones done here before.
Tentatively, the excursions are going to be evening walking tours led
by Kruer and illuminated with a lantern. She will wear time-period dress
that she makes herself. She has also been working with area transportation
companies to possibly set up some riding tours as well. Three sample
tours from A Step Back in Time are listed on Kruers
website. These include titles like Sundown in the Graveyard,
By Moonlight on the River and Richwood Plantation.
She hopes to team up with Whitehall Bed and Breakfast, 1229 W. Main
St., Madison, and Bella Vista Restaurant, 1251 W. Main St., Madison,
for a Civil War tour in the near future. Kruer is now researching information
on local bars for a Haunted Historic Tavern Pub Crawl.
Although Kruer will not be solely focusing on haunted ghost tours, she
will be providing cemetery tours. Ive always been interested
in cemeteries, she said.
Surprisingly, many Americans enjoy learning about cemeteries, the gravestones
and the history of the peoples located within.
Recently, Kruer and McClintock were at a local cemetery taking pictures
for her tours when several teenagers stopped to ask what they were doing.
Kruer gave the teens a mini-tour and described the history of a particular
gravestone that depicted the life and death cycle through nature.
One of the kids responded, This is way cool much better
than history class!
Kruer is optimistic that if she can impress a 16-year-old, she will
also have luck with more interested customers. Kruer hopes her tours
can also raise money for some cemeteries in desperate need of preservation
She would like her tour business to provide more awareness of
Madison and the Ohio Valley area in general. I hope to see excitement
about the area and to preserve some places.
Eventually, shed like to hold some fundraisers to put money into
local places for which she provides tours. Other than that, Kruer is
unsure of where her business will take her, but she wants to make sure
it will be fun for others so she can provide an historic adventure that
is also educational.
Americans forget who we were, but we need to know who we were
to be who we are.
For more information on A Step Back
in Time or to contact Autumn Kruer, visit: www.astepbackintime.net.
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