ROSEBURG, Ore — Fifty three years ago, the Roseburg Blast changed the landscape of this town forever, and now visitors can tour right where it all happened with the history in their hands.
It all started four years ago, more than five thousand miles from Roseburg, when app developer Kent Rochester was inspired by his European travels.
“Traveling in Europe a few years ago, ya know, anywhere with any cultural or historical significance in Europe, there’s usually an audio tour associated with it,” said Rochester.
So Rochester brought the idea back to Roseburg, collecting pictures and videos of the blast, even interviewing survivors and using their accounts of the tragedy to really bring life to the tour.
Those historic accounts were compiled into a twelve-stop walking tour, highlighting the most historic places affected by the blast.
Each stop has its own video and historic account of exactly what happened more than fifty years ago.
“I think the coolest part is you get to be where the history happened. Museums are great, and they have great displays and sometimes those are interactive, but to be where the history happened, that gives you a whole different feel,” said Rochester.
A feel that Rochester and city leaders hope will bring more visitors, more foot traffic to downtown and help educate people about this important piece of Roseburg history.
You can downlowd the app here: http://visitroseburg.com/BLASTtour/