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QR codes, actors to bring Riverhead Town’s history to life on downtown trail

Riverhead’s Landmarks Preservation Committee is in the process of creating a Historic Trail downtown that will give information about various historic sites in Riverhead, just by aiming a cell phone’s QR reader.

Richard Wines, chairman of the committee, said there will be 35 different stops and each one will have a QR code.

“Anyone can walk up to the QR code and scan it with a camera, and then you’ll get a recording of a local actor or actress playing the part of a historic character in Riverhead,” he said.

Historic photographs connected to the site will also be visible as the actor or actress speaks.

The committee has been talking about the QR readers for some time. Thanks to a $9,000 state grant, they’ve added the ability to incorporate actors and actresses playing the role of historic people. 

The project is not done, and additional actors or actresses are still needed, Mr. Wines said.

“I need someone to take on the role of the Polish maid who lived in what’s now the funeral home, and I need someone to take on the role of the Republican party boss,” Mr. Wines said. 

“Actually, the founder of the County Review, the predecessor to the News-Review, was a county Republican boss,” he added. 

Also needed is someone to play Mabel, one of the three sisters for whom Grangebel Park is named, along with Grace and Angela.

The QR readers will be placed on Peconic Avenue, East Lawn, First and Second Streets, Court Street, Yellow Barn and the Suffolk County Historical Society, among others, he said.

Riverhead is in the process of demolishing two downtown buildings to create a Town Square from the Suffolk Theater to the Peconic Riverhead.

The town will be working with the State Office of Historic Preservation and the Empire Start Development Corporation to try and preserve as much of downtown’s historic features as possible, according to town Community Development Director Dawn Thomas.