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The National Park Service wants your input on whether it should recommend to Congress that a historic section of land in western Illinois be added to the national park system. Frank McWhorter (mick-WART-or), an enslaved man from Kentucky, bought his freedom in the 1830s, ventured to Illinois, and established New Philadelphia in Pike County.

 

The N-P-S says it’s the first town known to be platted and officially registered by an African American – before the Civil War. Griggsville farmer Philip Bradshaw serves as president of the local New Philadelphia Association that has been working to preserve the site;

 

 

Jon Amakawa (AH-mah-cow-ah) of Boston designed the augmented reality mobile app and helped launch the guideposts for visitors.

 

 

Not far off of Interstate 72 near the town of Barry, the historic site surrounded by farmland now has augmented reality guideposts. Visitors can download a free, custom smartphone or tablet app that helps bring New Philadelphia back to life. The Pike County Farm Bureau in Pittsfield hosts the Park Service open house next Wednesday, May 11th, from six-to-eight in the evening.

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