Thursday, May 20, 2010

Working for You- The DeKalb County Tourist Association by John Dersham

Working for You- The DeKalb County Tourist Association

Over the last few weeks we have had inquires about the various services we provide to our members.
To help you better understand all the things we do, I have included our Mission Statement and a list of services we provide.
We very much appreciate our members and we strive to be a service to them and to our community by bringing important tourism related spending to our county.

Mission Statement

• To perpetuate economic growth and development through tourism.
• To promote, advertise and publicize natural, historic and man-made attractions.
• To serve in cooperation with state, county and city governments to promote tourism.
• To work with our local Chamber of Commerce, schools and colleges to encourage and develop long lasting educational and promotional development of our industry.
• To belong to and work with other tourist associations on a regional, state and national level to build relationships that educate and promote a healthy tourism industry.
• To provide outstanding marketing and promotional support to assist in the growth and development of our member’s businesses.

Membership Benefits
The DeKalb County Tourist Association is the primary organization promoting tourism in DeKalb County. We are a non-profit organization and are funded by the county lodging tax, memberships, grants and city appropriations.

Here are ways membership works for you:
Tourist Information Center - We are open seven days a week to answer questions about our area, give directions and show guests places to go and things to do, where to eat and shop, historical locations, scenic attractions, lodging, parks etc. As a member we promote your business verbally and by giving our customers your printed information. We send visitors to you when they are looking for your kind of business.
Official DeKalb County Visitor’s Guide - Members are included in the single most distributed travel guide promoting DeKalb County. We give our visitor’s guides out in our information center; we mail them out from phone and internet requests, we distribute them at conventions and travel shows, at welcome centers, mini markets, hotels, motels, state parks, and many other places all throughout the southeast.
Official County Tourism Website - You are included on our website with a description of your business, a direct link to your website and email, phone number, address and other requested information. We average 30,000 website visits a month and we are the primary resource worldwide for people needing travel information about our county. Included in our website is an interactive version of our DeKalb County Visitor’s Guide. This one can be printed or viewed on line. It has a page turn feature, you can magnify the images and it contains live links to your website. In addition our website has links to online video’s and articles. You can request to have your video or article reviewed for inclusion on our website.
Travel Writers - We work closely with travel writers and other news media to see that articles are regularly considered for publication in magazines and newspapers nationwide. We submit press releases to magazines, newspapers and radio stations to promote travel articles on places, events and businesses in DeKalb County.
State Affiliations - We network closely with the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, The Alabama Tourism Department, the Alabama Travel Council, Chambers and CVB organizations all across our state.

Here are additional member services we offer:
*Digital Marquee at one of Fort Payne’s busiest intersections. We promote your business on it.
*Weekly newspaper Column to promote Tourism in DeKalb County
*Member educational seminars
*Television advertising campaigns
*Radio Advertising
*Magazine and Newspaper Ads
*YouTube videos
*Facebook and other social media sites
*Presence as an exhibitor at state and regional travel shows
*Provide education and presentations to local clubs, civic organizations and area businesses
*Provide help with member ad campaigns
*Support local activities and festivals
*Provide general information about our county, our towns, municipal services, churches, history, maps and a host of general information for the community, for the traveler and for new residents.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fort Payne Boom Days Images by O.W. Chase circa 1889 by John Dersham

It is an honor for me to present twenty nine archival printed silver halide photographic prints to Landmarks of DeKalb County, Inc. This is a gift from myself and family and is an intended contribution to the preservation of our rich history here in Fort Payne. The prints presented here are part of the original 6 ½ x 8 ½ glass plates/negatives photographed by O.W. Chase circa 1889. Mr. Chase was hired to make these images for the purpose of making brochures promoting Fort Payne to New Englanders during our Boom Days. These images now 121 years old, are a blessing to our community and serve as an unsurpassed view backward into our rich history. I want to thank Judy and Joe Brown for entrusting me with these delicate glass negatives, so I could print them in my darkroom.
O.W. Chase was a hired professional photographer using a professional large format view camera. Due to the large size of the negatives, the capture of detail and tonality is still unsurpassed by any professional digital camera today. Only today’s large format cameras with improved film emulsions and sharper lenses could improve the technical quality of O.W. Chase’s body of work.
In the days of O.W. Chase’s photography only trained professionals were doing this work. A little later in the same era George Eastman (Kodak) was introducing the first ever consumer photographic cameras and film. Prior to this time there were no snapshots. This means many small towns like Fort Payne had no photographic history dating as far back as the late 1880’s. We are very fortunate to have had a Boom Days.
The prints in this collection are from twenty nine of O.W. Chase’s collection of an estimated 85 glass plates shot in or around 1889, in Fort Payne.
For the sake of historical preservation I have printed these images using archival printing, processing and mounting processes. I have used silver rich double weight fiber based photographic paper of Chlorobromide formula that appears similar in tonality to the photographic papers of the 1880’s. All of the prints have been Selenium toned which further protects the silver from oxidation. This collection of prints is printed to provide medium to medium soft contrast in order to preserve the delicate details in the highlights and shadows of the scene. In accordance with the archival process used, these images should provide a lasting image for several hundred years.