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Oh the Stories: Jonesborough releases new app to let town tell its own story




Staff Writer

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During Jonesborough’s biggest weekend, it will have a chance to tell some of it’s oldest stories. Tennessee’s oldest town has launched the Jonesborough Story Town App for smartphones.

The free app is available for download on iTunes and on the Google Play Store.

“This (app) allows Jonesborough to tell our own story,” said app creator Jules Corriere. “We are the storytelling capital of the world, we have the best storytellers come from all over the world, and this is a way for Jonesborough to tell it’s own story and have those hidden treasures on Main Street brought to life.”

The creation of the phone app was a joint project with the Town of Jonesborough, but it was the brainchild of Corriere; who also serves as outreach program coordinator at the McKinney Center.

The app features a collection of stories of the people who lived and worked downtown going back from the earliest days up until the present.

“It is sort of a self-paced tour, where you are holding Jonesborough stories in the palm of your hand and as you stroll past a building, you click on the icon for that address and the stories of that building and the people that lived and worked there pop up,” Corriere said.

There are also 14 audio stories that are available.

Corriere worked closely with the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia in order to obtain vintage photographs, as well as “now and then” photographs. The group also helped to fact check some of the stories that were gathered.

“When you are gathering oral histories, you want to make sure that the things are accurate, so the Heritage Alliance really helped and used archives to help fact check the stories,” Corriere said.

Having those photos and stories gives the town a chance to tell it’s own story.

“It is a unique way for people to experience Jonesborough and it is a new experience for people that have been coming year after year to the storytelling festival; they’ve got something in addition to the wonderful stories they will hear during the festival,” Corriere said.

The app will be continually updated throughout the future as more stories become available. It may also start to have monthly and seasonal updates as holidays and special occasions approach on the calendar.

“The stories of Jonesborough are alive and the Jonesborough stories are never finished being told, so as we get new stories it will continue to grow,” Corriere said.