BONIFAY -- One organization is etching more than 150 years of local history in stone.
Holmes County Historical Society (HCHS) is releasing a number of "story stones" in high-traffic areas across Holmes County. The stones depict local historical sites on one side and a website address on the other. Finders will then go to the website to learn more about the historical site, and, if intrigued, collect more stones or place stones elsewhere for another person to discover.
The program launched Saturday. At least 26 stones will be released, including a stone depicting an early photo of the Holmes County Times-Advertiser (then called Holmes County Advertiser).
"A lot of people don't even know this history exists," said Cassandra Pollard Smith, Historical Society member and story stones program manager. "We figured the stones would be able to catch those people wouldn't have normally heard about the Historical Society. We would touch them, as they do a really fun activity."
Without revealing too much information, Pollard Smith said several of the sites are from the historic highway State Road 90; while others point to the origin of prominent locations, for example, the origin of "Holmes" for the county's name.
"We want to get the word out and get the public excited about the history of Holmes, preserving and protecting the historical sites," she said. And to "share it with the next generation."
The stones will be placed within city limits. Finders will go to Holmes County History.com to learn about the site; also, clues to locate other stones will be posted at the same website. Finders, and others who are interested in spreading local history, are encouraged to use #HCStoryStones and #HolmesCountyHistory on social media and to "like" the HCSC's Facebook page HolmesCountyHistory and the program's page HCStoryStones.
"The more we get talking about the stones, the more we will get talking about the vital history of Holmes," Pollard Smith added.
For more information about the program, go to Holmes County History.com.