- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Tales of the fire that devastated Lake Charles in 1919, other historical information and ghost stories all are part of a free new smartphone app about the city’s Charpentier Historic District.

The app offers half-hour and one-hour tours with turn-by-turn directions for both walkers and drivers, according to the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.

It also explains that the era’s Victorian homes reflect the personalities of the carpenters who built them, because the city did not have any architects until the 1900s, spokeswoman Angie Manning told the American Press (http://bit.ly/1zN3AkF).

Architects nationwide know about the woodwork and paneled square columns in the 40-block historic district.

The app, prompted by the success of an app for the Creole Nature Trail, is designed for both visitors and locals, Manning said. “Instead of just driving past these magnificent homes, they can actually appreciate the history behind it,” she said.

It offers video, photos and tours in Spanish, German and other languages, as well as closed captions for the hearing impaired.

The app can be downloaded in the Apple App Store and via Google Play by searching “Lake Charles Historic Tour.”

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Online:

www.visitlakecharles.org/historic

www.calcasieupreservation.org

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Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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