Bethel Historical Society to offer zip line tours
The Bethel Historical Society plans to add a new twist this summer to its walking tours of the town’s Historic District: zip line tours.
Engineer Jim Sysko will run a gently-sloped 2,000-foot cable the length of Broad and Church streets, according to Randy Bennett, BHS executive director. “We want to offer something that will attract more young people to our historic tours,” he said. “In addition, the seated zip tours will benefit older visitors who may not be up for walking through the village.”
The line will run directly over the street, about 50 feet off the ground. “That height, above the power lines, will ensure it doesn't turn into a 'zap' line,” said Sysko.
In keeping with the historic theme, tourists will be lifted from the ground to the zip line by means of an antique dumb waiter that Sysko will modify. They will then slide slowly past such historic landmarks as the Gideon Hastings House, the Bethel Inn, BHS’s Moses Mason and Robinson houses, and Gould Academy as tour guides chat about each site’s role in Bethel history.
Recently-retired BHS Director Emeritus Stan Howe expects to volunteer much of his time guiding tours himself. “What better way to see the high-style architecture of Gould Academy than from on high,” said Howe.
An application for the zip line proposal will be presented at the next Bethel Planning Board meeting.
Please note this story is published close in time to April 1.