Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Welcome to the Historical Marker Database

 
Marker of the Week
Philo T. Farnsworth Beaver, Utah

Philo T. Farnsworth marker imageHe was born in a log cabin near here and when he was 15 years old he developed the concept of how to transmit images electronically. In 1927 at age 21 he made it work with vacuum tubes—he is holding an image dissector tube in this statue. Farnsworth has long been called “the Father of Television.” One of our first Contributing Correspondents, Dr. Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia, filed this entry in 2007.
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Take a Tour of the Database

Click on the star button in the menu above. Repeat. Every time you click, you will be shown a different marker at random.

Pardon our Dust! We are reworking HMdb.org—one page at a time*—to display correctly on any size screen, small or large.

What apps are authorized to use the database? At this time, only Niantic’s Field Trip. It is the only mobile app that regularly fetches fresh information from the database. Other apps are not authorized and use out of date information. The marker you are looking for may no longer be where that unauthorized app says it is.
Markers Recently Added
Today •Berkley Old Village/Fire Hall Berkley, Michigan
Old Man in the Mountain Luray, Virginia
Jul 27 •Getting to know the air you breathe! Syria, Virginia
Spring Brook Elma, New York
82nd Airborne Infantry Division US Army Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Missouri
The Butterfield or California Trail San Angelo, Texas
Maclure Park Bandstand New Harmony, Indiana
Rappite Community House No. 2 New Harmony, Indiana
Washakie Fort Washakie, Wyoming
Grover Cleveland Fayetteville, New York
Site of De-Yu-It-Ga-Oh Leicester, New York
Sacajawea Fort Washakie, Wyoming
The Right Rev. George Maxwell Randall, D.D. Fort Washakie, Wyoming
Sacajawea Cemetery Fort Washakie, Wyoming
Archaeological Park Chuwa Nima’ Ab’aj Pachalúm, El Quiché, Guatemala
and more ...
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Most Viewed Markers This Year

1 •Martha Jane Burke Deadwood, South Dakota
2 •Penateka Comanches Kerrville, Texas
3 •Geographic Center of Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee
4 •Colonel William C. Young Newcastle, Texas
5 •Aunt Betty's Story Brightwood, Washington, DC
6 •Washington’s Southern Tour Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
7 •The Lynching Of Willie Earle Greenville, South Carolina
8 •Building the Batchellerville Bridge Edinburg, New York
9 •Agua Fria Agua Fria Village, New Mexico
10 •Birthplace of Eugene O'Neill New York, New York
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History Happened Here
National and global events all happened some­where, and historical markers mark
Frontiersman, soldier, writer, astronaut
Frontiersman, Soldier,
Writer, Astronaut
the place where many occurred. But the richness of history is in its local details, details that can be insignificant on the global stage: the home of an in­di­vi­dual who made a dif­fe­rence; a natural feature, building, byway; or just some­thing in­te­res­ting that happened nearby. History is not just about the high and mighty.
 
Markers tell stories and point out facts. There is one at the site the northernmost battle of the U.S. Civil War and another at the southernmost point in the United States (can you guess where?). There is one next to a 17th century Japanese stone lantern symbolizing 20th century peace, and another one less than 20 miles away reminding us of the Nike missile sites that were built the same year the lantern was dedicated. They tell of battles,
Generals Captured in their union suits, literaly!
Generals Captured in their
Union Suits, Literally!
massacres and hangings; of hu­ma­ni­ta­rians, educators, and a beloved stagecoach horse; of mountains, lakes, rivers, bridges, roads, and other natural and man-made wonders.
 
There are countless thousands of great stories marked by markers—and some boring ones too. Some markers simply recite facts while others are insightful, obscure, cryptic, patriotic, fas­ci­na­ting, sad, funny, or just downright bizarre. Many of those markers are on these pages, others are waiting for you to discover and add them to this database.
 
So hit the road and experience history first-hand yourself. History happened nearby.

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Google Maps Links
Markers in this database have links to Google maps
Google Maps sample image
pinpointing their location.
 
HINT: Click on the Satellite button in the upper right of the maps to switch to a satellite image of the ground at that location. Once you do that you may be able to zoom in further using the Plus and Minus buttons on the left side of the map.

Suggestions? Problems?

We want to hear from you. Send a note to the editors.

Are You A Collector?

Do you collect historical markers? Would you like to start? If you’re a collector, or want to get started,
Clara Barton marker
Clara Barton,
Steamboat Gothic Aficionado
consider uploading your discoveries to this site. Even if someone else beat you to the submission, you can still add a fresh photo, better directions, or some additional insight into the subject described. What do you get in return? We’ll credit each submission by publishing your name and town on that page, unless, of course, you wish to remain anonymous.

You can add markers yourself. It's easy! Check marker submission guidelines, then click Add A Marker to get started. Adding photos, links and commentary is just as easy: go the marker's page and click on the links at the top or bottom of the page.
HMdb.org Cards
HMdb.org 3½" x 2" cards are now available.
Image of HMdb.org wallet card
We’ll mail contributors a dozen or more at no charge. Simply send a note to the editor with a mailing address and state how many you would like. Sign one and put it in your wallet to show you are a contributor to HMdb.org. It might come in handy when someone asks you what you’re doing next to a government installation with a camera. Hand the rest out to friends and curious bystanders. Your note will be discarded after the envelope is addressed.
Keep An Eye on Those Markers
Enter your town in the Search by Place search box on the More Search Options (or use the County list) to get a list of markers near where you live and work. image showing marker pole without a marker Keep an eye out for them when you're out on the road. You would be surprised how many disappear in the course of a year.

To report a missing marker, use the “Correct This Page” link on the marker’s page and scroll down to the “Is Marker Missing?” section. A photo of the stump, hole in the ground, or place where the marker was is necessary for proof. Also, please take a few minutes and inform your local historical society.

Recently Modified Marker Entries

Jul 27 •Robert Lee Cemetery Robert Lee, Texas
New Harmony New Harmony, Indiana
Robert B. Morgan Lillington, North Carolina
New Harmony New Harmony, Indiana
Jul 26 •Renaissance Mayflower Hotel Washington, Washington, DC
The Schaefer Building Dearborn, Michigan
Church of Our Merciful Saviour Kaufman, Texas
Bowie County New Boston, Texas
"Old Fort Frederick" Big Pool, Maryland
Jul 25 •Born in Madison, the Wisconsin Idea changed the nation Madison, Wisconsin
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Recommend This Website
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Or use buttons at the bottom of each marker page to recommend individual markers.

HMdb is Mobile-Ready

On your cell phone’s browser. Want to know what that marker you just passed said? Fire up this website on your phone’s browser and hit the Near You button. Set up a shortcut now so you'll be ready next time you’re out.
 
There’s an app for that. Niantic’s “Field Trip” for iPhone and Android has tapped the Historical Marker Database as one of its Historic Places sources. Drive or walk past a historical marker and the application will show you a “card” with the text and photos from this website. It will read the text outloud to you if you configure it right. It is available for download at no charge. More info at fieldtripper.com.
 
In your GPS unit. Does your GPS device support GPX files? You can download the locations of historical markers into your GPS unit with these files. Push the right buttons and your GPS will tell you when a marker is near; or tell you how to get to them. Some units will also display the text of the marker. GPX Download index. Or get a TomTom POI file.
Preservation Writes Us Up
Here is an August 2010 article by Gwendolyn Purdom in Preservation Magazine entitled Leaving Their Mark about the Historical Marker Database and our aim to document every historical marker in North America.

HMdb Featured on Broadcast

Ted Landphair does two-minute stories on Americana for Voice of America radio, broadcast at various times over VOA’s English language service. Listen to this one, first broadcast February 20, 2008, entitled “Lots More People Can Now Read Those Roadside Signs.” Here is the transcript.
 
NOTICE
Do you have some history that you want to publish on the Internet? HMdb.org can provide hosting space at HistoryArchives.org at no charge. What you want to publish does not have to be related to a historical marker. For more information, contact an editor.

 
* Pardon our Dust! Until we're done, some pages will be new, bright and shiny, like this one. Others will be in the old, tired format that may not fit on your screen. We're working make each page display correctly on any size screen, small or large. If you run into any trouble or have a suggestion, please send a note to the editor.
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