“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Welcome to the Historical Marker Database
History Happened Here
National and global events all happened some­where, and historical markers mark

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, 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.
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,
Steamboat Gothic
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.
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.
Most Viewed Markers This Year
1 •Rose Tree Tombstone, Arizona
2 •Miss Laura's Fort Smith, Arkansas
3 •Get over it! Arco, Idaho
4 •Martha Jane Burke Deadwood, South Dakota
5 •A Life of Service Glen Echo, Maryland
6 •South Carolina Confederate Monument Columbia, South Carolina
7 •The Crash at Crush West, Texas
8 •In Honor of All Who Served Hoopeston, Illinois
9 •Morgan’s Raid Salineville, Ohio
10 •Birthplace of the Confederate Battle Flag Fairfax, Virginia
Table composed in 66 ms. Cards 3½" x 2" cards are now available.
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 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.
Suggestions? Problems?
We want to hear from you. Send a note to the editors.
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Marker of the Week
Duryea Drive Reading, Pennsylvania

The “World’s First Real Automobile” won the first car race held in the U.S. this week in 1895. That race was over relatively flat roads from Chicago to Evanston and back. The test track marked by this marker was up a mountain and the Duryea brother’s “motor wagons” could climb it in high gear. Contributing Editor William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas, was in Pennsylvania in 2009 to pick up this marker. Previous Markers of the Week.
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Markers Recently Added
Nov 29 •Phillip H. Vetter Cody, Wyoming
Nov 29 •California Admission Day San Francisco, California
Nov 29 •Sulphur Springs Church and Campground Chilhowie, Virginia
Nov 29 •Treaty of Painted Post Painted Post, New York
Nov 29 •Saltville Saltville, Virginia
Nov 28 •Confederate States of America - Battle Flags Higginsville, Missouri
Nov 28 •Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm Stonewall, Texas
Nov 28 •Farm History Stonewall, Texas
Nov 28 •Our Confederate Dead Higginsville, Missouri
Nov 28 •Confederate States of America - National Flags Higginsville, Missouri
Nov 28 •Confederate Memorial State Historic Site Higginsville, Missouri
Nov 28 •Frances Dickenson Scott Johnson Elk Garden, Virginia
Nov 28 •Edge of Plains Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Nov 28 •Trail of the Forty-Niners Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Nov 28 •Russell Courthouse Lebanon, Virginia
All markers added yesterday and today, in the last week, in the last 30 days.
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Take a Tour of the Database
Click on the three dots under the Search button at the top of the right hand margin. Repeat. Every time you click, you will be shown a different marker at random.
HMdb Goes Mobile
On your cell phone’s browser. When you’re out and about use your cell phone or PDA to find out what markers are near you. More info.
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.
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
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. 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
Nov 29 •Batteries E & G First U.S. Artillery Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Nov 28 •John Jeremiah "Liver Eating" Johnston Cody, Wyoming
Nov 28 •Irwinville Irwinville, Georgia
Nov 28 •Shreve & Co. San Francisco, California
Nov 28 •The American Mountain Man Cody, Wyoming
Nov 28 •The Bulldog Baths San Francisco, California
Nov 28 •“Liver Eating” Johnson Pattenburg, New Jersey
Nov 27 •First Maine Cavalry Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Nov 27 •Montour County Danville, Pennsylvania
Nov 27 •James A. Bailey Detroit, Michigan
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Google Maps Links
Markers in this database have links to Google maps
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.
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.
  Do you have some history that you want to publish on the Internet? can provide hosting space at at no charge. What you want to publish does not have to be related to a historical marker. For more information, contact an editor.

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