Some Blair residents took a stroll through history Sunday to learn about the beginnings of Blair and its early pioneers during a historic downtown walking tour.
The event, which was attended by about 50 people, was organized by Blair resident Donna Henton.
Three years ago, Henton set out to write a detailed story about Blair for her grandchildren. Instead, she wrote a book “If These Brick Could Talk Volume 1,” about the histories of each building lot from 15th to 19th streets in downtown Blair.
“When you drive on Washington Street and look around, you see buildings. Most of of us know nothing about the buildings or the pioneers who made Blair happen,” Henton said.
With her grandchildren — Toby and Ryan Ray and Johnny, Jaimison, Jenica and Jayden Henton — portraying some of Blair's early pioneers, Henton detailed the buildings, which once stood along 16th and Washington streets Sunday night.
The tour began at the corner of 16th and State streets, where the first hotel, eatery and depot called the Blair House once stood. The hotel was built by John I. Blair and the railroad in the fall of 1868.
This was also the site of the original lot sale for the city on March 10, 1869.
Some of those who attended and bought lots included Gustav Lundt, who operated a hardware store; Teresa and L.F. Hilton, who operated a millinery and the first newspaper, the Blair Register, respectively; and Elihu Pierce, who was friends with Blair and began an undertaking business.
The tour continued down 16th Street with stops at the post office, which was once the railroad park, and next to Fernando's Cafe and Cantina, which was built as two buildings by John Hungate.
Hungate also built the building across 16th Street, now known as the Gamut building, Henton said.
Henton hopes to have a second walking tour in the future. A book signing is scheduled for Aug. 18 at the Blair Public Library and Technology Center.