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Residents can embark on a historic adventure with History Passport

Free interactive game available through Explore Clay app

Posted 5/23/24

CLAY COUNTY – The Celebrate Clay History Passport is both a game and a journey you can embark on to explore the historical sites in the county. By visiting 15 out of 25 historical sites in …

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Residents can embark on a historic adventure with History Passport

Free interactive game available through Explore Clay app


Posted

CLAY COUNTY – The Celebrate Clay History Passport is both a game and a journey you can embark on to explore the historical sites in the county. By visiting 15 out of 25 historical sites in person, you and your friends and family can win prizes at the Clay County Archives Center.  

"This is the inaugural, gamified Clay County history tour," Kimberly Morgan, Director of Tourism, said.

Think of it like Pokemon Go but for local history.

The History Passport is free to play and an adventure in your pocket. To play, start by downloading the free Explore Clay app and clicking on the Tours sidebar option. Enable the app to access your location while in use, and be sure to create an account so that your progress will be saved.

The app will give directions to each historical marker and briefly describe the historical site. You must be within a certain radius to have your passport “stamped.” Once you're near the historical site, click "Check-In Now" to get credit.

The app has 25 historical sites to guide you and provide background information. You'll discover the Clark House, once part of a "monkey farm." The natural spring at Spring Park has beckoned tourists since the 1870s. The Penney Farms Museum and J. C. Penney Statue. Gold Head Branch, one of Florida's first state parks, was developed during the New Deal in the 1930s. Branan Field and the National POW/MIA Memorial near where the original Blue Angels squadron practiced. 

The History Passport is a collaboration between the Clay County Tourism Department and Clay County Archives. Although passports have been created in the past, this is the first one that is interactive.

The app aligns with Clay County District School's local history curriculum, which is studied in the last two weeks of eighth grade.

Anyone can discover historical monuments hidden in plain sight. “History” isn’t some vague, abstract concept. History is here, present, and all around the county, from Oakleaf to Keystone Heights to Orange Park and Green Cove Springs.

It's a fun way to spend a day outdoors, entertain children this summer, and show family visitors why your hometown is so great.

"History happened here. Our goal is to share everything that happened here," Mary Justino, the Clerk's Office Public Information Officer, said. 

"Get out of your zone. Meet your neighbors and explore areas that you wouldn't go to otherwise," she said.

If the program succeeds, the team plans to improve it by adding audio and video or more history stops. Think of it as beta testing a new game.

"Get ready, Clay County. There's lots of history coming your way,” Morgan said.

The app is out now, and the History Passport is free to play. Clay County Archives are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for you to share your 15 completed stops, which redeems a prize.