Cindy Bither
Administrative Assistant
P: (540) 464-7207
F: (540) 464-7443

111 Smith Hall
Lexington, VA 24450

Jackson House Cell Phone Tours

FullTextImage/img/@altStonewall Jackson House

LEXINGTON, Va., July 22, 2011 -- Visitors to the only home that famous Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson ever owned have a new way to experience the garden where then-Major Jackson grew vegetables for his family.  From July through October 2011 they can rely on their cell phones for information.

Volunteer gardeners and staff members have collaborated on a cell phone tour with 10 stops, each lasting about a minute.  Visitors may dial in to the number provided and select the number of a stop.  Those with smart-phones can “read” the QR code at each stop to access the tour.  The service is being provided at no cost to visitors except the use of minutes on their individual plans.

The cell phone tour is being provided by On-Cell, of Pittsford, N.Y.  A four-month trial was offered as a prize by the vendor at the Virginia Association of Museums annual meeting in March 2011, and Lucy Wilkins, the visitor services manager for the Stonewall Jackson House, was the winner.   

“This is a great opportunity for us and for our visitors,” commented Michael Anne Lynn, the site director.  “Visitors have an option of commenting upon the tour by pressing *0 at the end of any stop, so we can quickly learn what interests them and what does not.  This can truly become a visitor-directed experience. 

The Stonewall Jackson House is where T. J. Jackson and his wife, Anna, lived immediately before the Civil War, while he taught Natural and Experimental Philosophy at the Virginia Military Institute.  The site recently became part of the Virginia Military Institute Museum Programs.       

The Jackson House garden is maintained entirely by volunteers.  One team of Master Gardeners, who have completed the Virginia Cooperative Extension training, cultivates the vegetable garden as a demonstration project, using 19th century methods of “green manure” and crop rotation.  Another team of local volunteers maintains the flower garden using heritage plants that were available during the 1850s.

For more information contact the Jackson House at (540) 463-2552 or visit www.stonewalljackson.org.