Recent Markers of the Week
Current Marker of the Week
|Thurgood Marshall Annapolis, Maryland.|
This lawyer led the legal team that successfully argued before the Supreme Court that “separate but equal” racial segregation was unconstitutional. The court unanimously ruled in his favor this week in 1954. Marshall became a Supreme Court Justice in in 1967. Prolific contributing correspondent Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland, included photos of the 1996 dedication of this monument.
May 5, 2013
|The Belair Stud Farm Bowie, Maryland.|
In order to qualify for inclusion into this database, a historical marker must be outdoors. So why was this marker included? Because it had once been out of doors. Contributing Correspondent Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland, found it indoors and documented its move from roadside marker to museum artifact.
April 28, 2013
|Patrick Henry’s Grave Brookneal, Virginia.|
Oops! Virginia's official state historical markers are periodically replaced to add more information or correct errors of fact. The old one is always retired. This may be the only one that was—accidentally?—on purpose?—left behind when the new one went up a few blocks away.
April 21, 2013
|San Jacinto Monument La Porte, Texas.|
The last battle in the Texas War of Independence was fought this week in 1836 when Texan General Sam Houston defeated and captured Mexican General Lopez de Santa Ana right here. Contributing Correspondent R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, added this historical marker to the database back in 2008.
April 14, 2013
|Battle of Lexington Monument Lexington, Massachusetts.|
The American Revolution started this Saturday 228 years ago when "the shot heard around the world" was fired here in 1775. Our very prolific Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey, was on the Lexington town green in 2009 and submitted this entry.
April 7, 2013
|12th Tennessee Infantry Shiloh, Tennessee.|
The Battle of Shiloh concluded this week 151 years ago. Contributing Correspondent Allen Gathman of Pocahontas, Missouri, added the majority of the 537 markers at Shiloh Battlefield to the database and this is a representative entry. Your best look into the Shiloh markers is with a town search for Shiloh, Tennessee.
March 31, 2013
|Possible Vicinity of Juan Ponce de Leon’s Landing Melbourne Beach, Florida.|
Ponce de Leon discovered Florida and named it for the Easter season this week in 1513, and Contributing Correspondent Jamie Cox of Melbourne, Florida, discovered this 2005 Brevard County Historical Commission marker in 2012.
March 24, 2013
|Captain Don Gaspar de Portola Monterey, California.|
There are a number of markers in this database that were placed by foreigners. This one, of the first Governor of California, is on a statue and it was placed by the King of Spain himself. Contributing Correspondent Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California, found it.
March 17, 2013
|Kelly's Ford Kelly's Ford, Virginia.|
After loosing battles for two years in the east, the Federals retreated at the end of the day again here this week 150 years ago, but the day’s battle proved they could hold their own against the Confederates. This marker was not by the side of the road. Category Editor Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia, had to hike here to find it.
March 10, 2013
|American Revolutionary War Historical Site Monterey, California.|
It wasn’t just the French who helped America win the war. The Spanish were on our side too, and California belonged to them then. Contributing Correspondent Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California, found this plaque last month.
March 3, 2013
|The Pecos Cantaloupe Pecos, Texas.|
How many historical markers commemorate fruit? Contributing Correspondent Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona, submitted this one late last year.
February 24, 2013
|John Wesley Savannah, Georgia.|
John Wesley chartered the first Methodist church in the U.S. this week in 1784 after the Anglicans lost their flock during the American Revolution. But it was in 1736 that he first brought his brand of methodical Anglicanism to these shores, as Contributing Editor Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina, found out in Georgia a few years ago.
February 17, 2013
|Roberts Pavilion / Ocean Drive Pavilion North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.|
It’s the dead of winter and therefore time to plan for a beach vacation next summer. How about a trip to the home of the Shag? Once known as fas-dancing, the Carolina Shag is now the official state dance of both states. But it began on beach pavilions where jukeboxes enabled white kids in the segregated 1950s to dance to black Rhythm & Blues music, to the consternation of their elders.
February 10, 2013
|The Amazon Army Pittsburg, Kansas.|
This is Joan of Arc of the Coal Fields. In 1921 she and maybe 6000 other women were prepared to face the state militia barehanded in support of miners who were on strike. This fascinating bit of history was submitted by Contributing Editor William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.
February 3, 2013
|Donner Party Truckee, California.|
This week in 1846 the first Donner Party member dies after the party is trapped by snow. Half of 87 people who set out from Wyoming in late October would die and horrible things would happen before they were rescued. This is one of California and Nevada Category Editor Syd Whittle’s early entries for the database.
January 27, 2013
|Neon / Atomic Testing Las Vegas, Nevada.|
The word “incongruous” comes to mind when contemplating this two-sided marker, except that the mushroom clouds could be seen from Las Vegas’ neon-festooned streets. The first nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site was conducted 63 years ago this week. Contributing Correspondent Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona, documented this marker well.
January 20, 2013
|Morgan's Raid Bergholz, Ohio.|
Contributing Correspondent Jamie Abel of Westerville, Ohio, documented an odd pair of 1913 markers. Seems that the bronze tablet that was once on Marker 12 is now on Marker 13. The guess is that number 13 lost its tablet and, since it was in a more visible place, got number 12’s tablet. So what if the inscription does not quite match the location.
January 13, 2013
|Boston Molasses Flood Boston, Massachusetts.|
This week in 1919 a wave of hot molasses killed 21 people and dozens of horses, and knocked down a nearby firehouse and the elevated train line. This industrial accident took weeks to clean up. Nearly $1 million ($12 million in today’s dollars) was paid out in settlements. Contributing Correspondent Michael Tiernan of Danvers, Massachusetts, found this hard-to-spot marker.
January 6, 2013
|The Great Zig Zag Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia.|
This Blue Mountains engineering marvel from the 1860s was replaced by ten tunnels in 1910. Contributing Correspondent Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida, did an excellent job of illustrating this marker page.
December 30, 2012
|God has granted us a Happy New Year! Murfreesboro, Tennessee.|
General Braxton Bragg, commanding the Army of the Tennessee, in a text message (a telegram) to Confederate President Jefferson Davis on New Years Day 150 years ago this week after pushing back the Federals New Years Eve. Another entry from Civil War Category Editor Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
December 23, 2012
|Lightning Guider Sleds Duncannon, Pennsylvania.|
If it wasn't a Flexible Flyer sled it was one of these, found under Christmas trees in northern climates by millions of kids in the early and mid 20th century. The factory is now an antique store. I could not find a Flexible Flyer marker in the database but Category Editor Craig Swain found this one near Pennsylvania's capital in 2009.
December 16, 2012
|Plymouth Rock Plymouth, Massachusetts.|
The Mayflower landed here this week in 1620 and the Pilgrims disembarked. One of our first Contributing Editors, F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland, was not impressed by the size of the rock.
December 9, 2012
|At Dawn on December 9, 1775 Chesapeake, Virginia.|
The Battle of Great Bridge marked the end of British control of Virginia, and it happened this week in 1775. Category Editor Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia, submitted a series of markers erected this year by the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation that describe the lead up to the battle and the battle itself. Follow the timeline with the Related Markers link on this page.
December 2, 2012
|Here Lies Buried John Brown North Elba, New York.|
Virginia hanged John Brown this week in 1859 making the Civil War all but inevitable. That story ends hundreds of miles north of Virginia and Contributing Correspondent Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York, did an excellent job of illustrating this marker.
|Earlier Markers of the Week|
| November 25, 2012||Hatfield Cemetery Sarah Ann, West Virginia|
The recent History Channel series on the Hatfield and McCoy feud must have something to do with elevating this marker to top 2 most viewed this year. 13 miles away in Kentucky is the McCoy cemetery, the Hog Trial site, and a number of other Hatfield and McCoy markers. Contributing Correspondent Forest McDermott of Front Royal, Virginia, got them all for the database back in 2008.
| November 18, 2012||Message to the French Resistance Courseulles-sur-Mer, Basse-Normandie, France|
The French Resistance was very important to the success of D-Day, the invasion of occupied France by the Allies, and this monument commemorates the way the Allies told the French Resistance when it was going to occur: By reading a poem on the radio. Contributing Correspondent Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California, found it on Juno Beach in Normandy.
| November 11, 2012||This Lonely Fire Hydrant Grantsville, Utah|
Three markers in this ghost town tell the story of Polynesian immigrants to the Skull Valley town of Iosepa in 1889 and hint at Polynesian migration to other parts of the world. Contributing Correspondent Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia found them on her trip out west in 2007.
| November 4, 2012||McClellan’s Farewell Warrenton, Virginia|
This week 150 years ago President Lincoln relieved General McClellan of command for repeated refusals to pursue General Lee. Category Editor Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia, traces McClellan’s exit with four markers.
| October 28, 2012||The Toothman Farm Butler, Missouri|
The Battle of Island Mound happened 150 years ago this week and this marker tells the story the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry who defeated Missouri guerrillas. Contributing Editor William Fischer, Jr., of Fort Scott, Kansas, came across it this weekend.
| October 21, 2012||Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
The Oklahoma City National Memorial
Foundation has erected a series of interpretative panels and descriptive signs at the memorial—the location of the 1995 bombing and destruction of the federal building and two others. Contributing Editor William Fischer, Jr., of Fort Scott, Kansas, spent some time there last year and recently added them to the database.
| October 14, 2012||Whistler’s Mother Clarkton, North Carolina|
You have to get off the bypass and drive through the sleepy little towns to find interesting markers like this one about the subject of this famous oil painting. It is on a monopole but it is not on the official list of North Carolina Historical Markers because it was the Daughters of the American Revolution who erected it.
| October 7, 2012||“If You Meet the Enemy, Overpower Him” Perryville, Kentucky|
This picturesque town has done a great job placing interpretive panels like this one describing the horror of the battle 150 years ago this week that stopped the Confederate takeover of Kentucky. Category Editor Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia, did a great job of illustrating today’s views of battle sites.
| September 30, 2012||The Stinking Rose San Francisco, California|
The Restaurant that “seasons its garlic with food” cooked up this plaque facing the sidewalk with a bit of Roman garlic history. Contributing Correspondent Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California, found it earlier this year.
| September 23, 2012||John Paul Jones Memorial The National Mall, Washington, DC|
This week in 1779 John Paul Jones brought the Revolutionary War to Britain when within view of the British shore he captured the frigate HMS Serapis after a bloody sea battle. Contributing Correspondent Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland, found this 1912 memorial and an adjacent interpretive panel a few years ago.
| September 16, 2012||Anderson’s Division, Longstreet’s Command Sharpsburg, Maryland|
This marker is representative of the over 230 markers erected in the 1890s in and around the Antietam battlefield by the War Department. 250 years ago this week Confederate General Robert E. Lee invaded Maryland and was repelled by Union General George B. McClellan after the bloodiest single-day battle of the war here at Antietam. Category Editor Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia, entered most of them into the database and grouped them into a number of Related Markers trails. The best way to see and map them all is from this page
on his blog, To the Sound of Guns.
| September 9, 2012||Dorn’s Mill / Dorn Gold Mine McCormick, South Carolina|
Down but not out! Contributing Editor Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina, found this marker off its pole in 2008. It was still there and still down in 2011 when he paid it another visit. 130 years after it was erected, though, the nearby mill building is still up. But is the marker back up on its pole?
| September 2, 2012||Albert Gallatin Downtown, Washington, DC|
This week in 1789 the U.S. Treasury was founded and national debt and inflation immediately followed. This fellow had nothing to do with that back then, but as Secretary of the Treasury he collected taxes to pay for the War of 1812 and in 1814 negotiated the peace treaty to end the war. He is also credited with the first interstate highway, the National Road. Civil War Category Editor Craig Swain submitted this statue-as-a-marker that has nothing to do with the Civil War in 2007.
| August 26, 2012||Campaign of Second Manassas Marshall, Virginia|
Called “Second Bull Run” by the Union, this battle took place near Manassas 150 years ago this week. In the late 1920s Virginia erected a series of roadside markers with the same title so that motorists could follow General Lee and his men to victory and they are still guiding us today. Category Editor Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia, put them in order for us, using this marker to anchor the sequence.
| August 19, 2012||August Belmont II Lexington, Kentucky|
This is one of 46 plaques in Thoroughbred Park that Contributing Correspondent Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee, recently found and submitted. Together they highlight the history of Thoroughbred Racing from the point of view of the owners, many of them well known celebrities in their own right.
| August 12, 2012||Bass Reeves - Lawman on the Western Frontier Fort Smith, Arkansas|
This African-American deputy U.S. Marshal and 19th century legend was recently recognized with this fine monument. His son was one of the over 3000 felons he arrested during his 32 years as a Federal peace officer in the Indian Territory. Contributing Correspondent Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California, submitted this and a number of other markers in Fort Smith.
| August 5, 2012||American Bandstand Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
Dick Clark’s daily television show “American Bandstand” went national this week in 1957, broadcast from this location in West Philadelphia. Contributing Correspondent Stephen Nazigian of Folsom, Pennsylvania found this marker earlier this year.
| July 29, 2012||Belle Boyd House Martinsburg, West Virginia|
Called ‘Cleopatra of the Confederacy,’ she shot and killed an Union soldier in 1861 for insulting her mother and was arrested this week in 1862 for spying for the Confederacy. There are five markers about Belle Boyd in the database. This particular marker was submitted by Contributing Editor Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.
| July 22, 2012||“You can fool all the people part of the time . . .” Clinton, Illinois|
Google this epigram and you’ll see that Abraham Lincoln gets quoted saying it just about every day. And this marker—submitted by our intrepid Contributing Editor Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana—says Lincoln said it here in Clinton this week in 1858. But finding proof that he actually said it has proven elusive.
| July 15, 2012||“July” 1858 Sparta, Georgia|
“Dog days” usually refer to August, but they arrived early this year for most of the United States. So let’s celebrate the story of a dog named July and the story of how the marker to July got erected. Where there’s a will there’s a way. Long time Contributing Correspondent David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia, submitted this entry in 2007; and in 2010 Contributing Correspondent Nancy Stephens of Sparta, Georgia, submitted the back story.
| July 8, 2012||The Andy Griffith Show Mt. Airy, North Carolina|
Movie and television actor Andy Griffith died last week and Contributing Correspondent Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, pointed out this statue and marker he added to the database in April. It depicts Griffith’s character Andy Taylor and son Opie from the long-running TV series.
| July 1, 2012||Anvil Firing Weaverville, California|
U.S. Independence Day on July 4th is celebrated with parades, picnics, concerts, fireworks . . . and anvil firings. There are a couple of YouTube video links on this page in case you’re not familiar with the process. Contributing Correspondent Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California, found this very interesting marker last month.
| June 24, 2012||Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Crow Agency, Montana|
Prolific Correspondent Richard E. Miller added this image to the page submitted by prolific Contributing Editor Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. It is best appreciated full size on the monument’s page. Three other correspondents also worked the presentation of this marker. The United States lost this battle 136 years ago this week.
| June 17, 2012||Bunker Hill Monument Boston, Massachusetts|
The first major military confrontation of the War of Independence was fought here 237 years ago this week. American General William Prescott told his men “Don’t fire ’til you see the whites of their eyes” and twice they mowed the British down before running out of ammunition and retreating on the third advance. Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey submitted this and a number of nearby markers in 2009.
| June 10, 2012||Salem Village Witchcraft Victims’ Memorial Danvers, Massachusetts|
320 years ago this week the first woman to be tried in Salem was put to death for the crime of witchcraft. Her name was Bridget Bishop and this monument records her name and 18 others. Prolific Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey, added it to the database. The histeria that began in February continued until October when the governor intervened.
| June 3, 2012||Santa Margarita Ranch Oceanside, California|
I wonder if Contributing Correspondent Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California, was trying to find the photos-per-page limit when he submitted this marker. 88 images and plenty of detailed captions later, he did a great job of illustrating this fascinating historical site.
| May 27, 2012||Como–Harriet Streetcar Line Minneapolis, Minnesota|
The clear, well-lit photographs, despite a wet and dark autumn day, shows the skill of photographer K. Linzmeier on this page submitted by Contributing Correspondent Keith L. of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Don’t settle for so-so photos. Learn your camera!
| May 20, 2012||Grand Procrastination Monterey, California|
The bronze plaque pictured here would not qualify for entry into the database. But the plaque explaining why it took 47 years after it was cast to get it mounted does. It’s a marker about a marker with the self-deprecating humor characteristic of E Clampus Vitus, the organization that erected them. Correspondent Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California, added it to the database a few weeks ago.
| May 13, 2012||Mother’s Day Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
Do you celebrate Anna Jarvis's version of Mother's Day or John Wanamaker's? The answer, says a mother I know well, is in how much time you devote to your mother on Mother's Day. Correspondent R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey submitted this marker a few years ago.
| May 6, 2012||Wells, Fargo & Company Express Office Bakersfield, California|
The fourth largest bank is the United States started as an express company in 1852 using stagecoaches to move important business valuables across the western United States. Here is one of their offices, carefully documented by our southwestern Category Editor Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
| April 29, 2012||On this site in Federal Hall New York, New York|
Here this week in 1789 the first President of the United States took the oath of office. Prolific and far-traveling Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey, did not have to travel far to record the monument at this location.
| April 22, 2012||Legend of June Lake Slot Machines June Lake, California|
E Clampus Vitus is a fraternal organization now dedicated to marking history in the western United States. Their markers commemorate local history with relish: this marker contains slot machine parts. Correspondent Lester J. Letson of Fresno, California, captured this gathering of Clampers at this marker's dedication in 2010.
| April 15, 2012||The Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn, New York|
A misspelled word makes this the Marker of the Week to illustrate the fact that we correct errors when the text is transcribed. Why? Because you can see the error when you examine the photograph, so why perpetuate the mistake. Also, when this database is used to automatedly "speak" the text, a spelling error may mangle the pronunciation. This marker was submitted in 2009 by correspondent R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
| April 8, 2012||The Old Verde River Sheep Bridge Carefree, Arizona|
You’ve heard of bridges built to carry railroads, highways, roads, streets, and even pedestrians across rivers. How about a suspension bridge that was built to carry sheep? Before this 1943 bridge they had to swim across. This marker was found by correspondent Wyndfire of Phoenix, Arizona.
| April 1, 2012||Lasting Friendship Fredericksburg, Texas|
Perhaps the only known peace treaty with Native Americans in the United States never to have been broken. Submitted by our prolific and far-traveling correspondent Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.
| March 25, 2012||Atomic Bomb Accident at Mars Bluff, March 11, 1958 Florence, South Carolina|
Here’s proof that an atomic bomb was dropped on the United States during the Cold War. It’s just that we dropped it on ourselves. Luckily it was not armed. Correspondents Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina, submitted this marker and Correspondent Paul Crumlish of Haymarket, Virginia, hiked into the woods to get this photo of the bomb.
| March 18, 2012||University Hill Anderson, South Carolina|
This marker mentions three educational institutions and one of them, Patrick Military Institute, caught the eye of the grandson of an alumnus, who ended up putting names to every face on this 1892 photograph. His grandfather had written them on the back of his copy. Correspondent Stuart Payne also contributed a copy of his grandfather’s diploma to this page, which was originally submitted by Correspondent Ronald Miller of Gray Court, South Carolina and later embelished by Contributing Editor Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
| March 11, 2012||Historic Jones Point Alexandria, Virginia|
George Washington himself was responsible for this “monument,” one of the boundary stones for the District of Columbia—the southernmost—erected in 1791. So it could be argued that this is the first National Monument erected in the United States.
| March 4, 2012||The Legend of Avelino Martinez Tehachapi, California|
The last member of the infamous Joaquin Murietta gang lived to be 112 years old. Correspondent Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California, submitted this historical marker mural. It tells an interesting story and features a portrait of Avelino on his horse.
| February 26, 2012||Dorchester Heights Boston, Massachusetts|
Continental Army bombardment from here started this week in 1776 in the Siege of Boston, the first strategic success of the American War for Independence. Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey, submitted this Boston monument marking the historic site.
| February 19, 2012||Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower Edison, New Jersey|
Here Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. This week in 1878, he filed the patent.
The technology he invented dominated the music industry for a century until digital recordings took over, beginning with the compact disc. Plaque 6 on this memorial—submitted and profusely illustrated by contributing correspondent R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey—commemorates this significant invention.
| February 12, 2012||Bottoms Cincinnati, Ohio|
If it wasn't for this marker this once vibrant area of the city would be truly forgotten. There is very little on the Internet. But there is a wealth of information on this and nearby markers and all that is now on the Internet because Contributing Editor William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas, did a lot of typing.
| February 5, 2012||Treason Site Haverstraw, New York|
Everyone knows the Benedict Arnold story. Here is where the plot was hatched. Correspondent John Intile of Toms River, New Jersey, trudged through the snow last winter to get us the marker.
| January 29, 2012||Watergate Investigation Arlington, Virginia|
You may be old enough to have read the story as it broke in the Washington Post or your local paper. Now it’s old enough to be cast in metal on a marker. Our correspondent Steve Berkowitz of Annandale, Virginia, spotted it and added it to the database. Contributing Editor William J. Toman of Madison, Wisconsin, showed up a few months later and took this photo of the garage space where intelligence was exchanged.
| January 22, 2012||“Liver Eating” Johnson Pattenburg, New Jersey|
The title hints at the gruesome story, but the marker text glosses over it and instead points us to Robert Redford’s 1972 movie which said nothing about it either. The Wikipedia entry recounts the legend, which ends with Johnson making peace with those he persecuted. Alan Edelson of Union Township, New Jersey, found the marker and Keith Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania, added to it. The gruesomeness occurred in Wyoming, where Johnson is buried and where there is another marker waiting to be submitted.
| January 15, 2012||The Landing of the Ark and the Dove St. Mary’s City, Maryland|
Can a marker without an inscription tell a story (and therefore be allowed into this database)? This one does (and is). It was submitted by Contributing Editor Tom Fuchs from Greenbelt, Maryland.
| January 8, 2012||“Evangeline” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
Here is an odd marker with no title and no indication of who put it up or when. It is about the real location of a fictional scene in the famous 1847 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. But check out the excerpt from a 1890 non-fiction book that places the fictional scene at a different almshouse in Philadelphia. Rebuttal, anyone?
| January 1, 2012||Tenney Park Madison, Wisconsin|
Contributing Editor William J. Toman of Madison, Wisconsin, knows how to take pictures. His photographs are not only crisp and clear, but well lit and well framed. Take a look at this album of photogenic park features, taken in the dead of winter, and tell me you don't agree.
| December 25, 2011||“Jingle Bells” Composed Here Medford, Massachusetts|
You've been hearing this song all month. Now you can check on where it was written, when, and by whom. Correspondent Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, just found it on the 24th! Follow the Related Marker link for another marker that Contributing Editor Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina, found in 2008 in Savannah.
| December 18, 2011||Mary White Emporia, Kansas|
This memorial “reprints” in its entirety newspaperman William Allen White’s often-reprinted essay — a beautiful tribute to his daughter — on two large brass tablets. Contributing editor William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas, submitted it in November.
| December 11, 2011||The Gage Accident Cavendish, Vermont|
This one is a recent addition to the Believe It or Not marker series. After his 1848 accident Mr. Gage recovered and lived 12 more years, but he was not himself. Correspondent Kevin Craft of Bedford, Quebec, found this one for us earlier this year.
| December 4, 2011||Cleopatra’s Needle New York, New York|
Here is a marker written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. And it has nothing to do with Queen Cleopatra. Instead it speaks of Horus, the “bull of victory” from Thebes. Our correspondent Erik Lander of Brooklyn found it in Central Park and correspondent Henry T. McLin of Hanover, Pennsylvania, added more photos. It has to be the oldest marker in the database, since it was originally erected in Egypt around 1600 BC.
| November 27, 2011||20 Mule Team Wagon Train Furnace Creek, California|
The symbol of the borax industry and a symbol of the American West is marked by a wooden historical marker submitted in 2010 by Contributing Editor Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. Who says historical markers have to be made out of metal? They just have to be permanent, outdoors, and tell a story.
| November 20, 2011||Julia Ward Howe Downtown, Washington, DC|
On the 20th 150 years ago she was at the review of Civil War Union troops nearby in Virginia, where she heard the song “John Brown’s Body.” At dawn on the 21st she wrote new lyrics to it and titled them “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Our prolific correspondent Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland, found this plaque at the Willard Hotel, where she had spent the night writing.
| November 13, 2011||Fort Washington New York, New York|
This week on the 16th in 1776 Lt. General Wilhelm von Knyphausen with Hessian mercenaries and British Redcoats laid siege and took the fort, a significant loss for the Americans. The victory was due in part to the treachery of the first traitor to the Patriot cause, William Demont. Our prolific Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin submitted this entry in 2008.
| November 6, 2011||The Poppy Lady Good Hope, Georgia|
Friday this week is Veteran’s Day in the U.S. Until 1954 it was Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I and that war’s veterans. The poppy flower became the symbol of the First World War’s veterans world-wide because of the Georgia teacher celebrated on this marker, which was submitted by our prolific correspondent David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.
| October 30, 2011||Betty and Barney Hill Incident Lincoln, New Hampshire|
Here is an official state marker commemorating a UFO abduction. Not much more to say except to thank our correspondent from Chelmsford Massachusetts, Roger Sinnott, for finding it. Definitely unique.
| October 23, 2011||Fort Mifflin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
This week on October 23rd, 1777, with cannon fire from this fort, Americans severely damaged or destroyed six British ships. The victory was short-lived. The British laid siege to the fort, forcing the Americans out November 15th. This marker serves as the “trail head” to 17 historical markers about Fort Mifflin submitted by our prolific Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey, and copiously illustrated with numerous photographs.
| October 16, 2011||John Brown Fort Harpers Ferry, West Virginia|
This week in 1859 John Brown raided the arsenal near Harpers Ferry and holed up in the armory’s firehouse, dubbed his “fort.” Some say his raid and subsequent state trial and execution made the Civil War inevitable. This marker was submitted by Category Editor Craig Swain in 2007 and is one of many about John Brown. Trace his steps from Chambersburg Pennsylvania to Maryland to what is now West Virginia using historical markers.
| October 9, 2011||Hoover Dam and Lake Mead Boulder City, Nevada|
This week in 1936 Boulder Dam began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles. It was renamed for President Hoover in 1947. This marker page, originally submitted in 2007 by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg Virginia, has been updated by a number of other contributors. As one of its many markers decrees, it is indeed a monument to civil engineering.
| September 25, 2011||James Wilson Hudson Winnsboro, South Carolina|
Historical marker or just another memorial? It caught our Spartanburg, South Carolina, Correspondent Michael Sean Nix’s eye in 2008. But what did the Latin inscription say? Correspondent Gregory Guderian of Belleville, New Jersey, saw the HMdb entry and earlier this year traveled to South Carolina to see the monument for himself. He then transcribed and translated the inscription. It is definitely a historical marker now that we know what it says.
| September 18, 2011||Nathan Hale New York, New York|
This week in 1776 Revolutionary War Patriot Nathan Hale was hung by the British for treason. His last words were “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” He was 21 years old. Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey submitted the only marker of Hale in the database that tells his story.
| September 11, 2011||The Star-Spangled Banner Georgetown, Washington, DC|
This week in 1814 Francis Scott Key wrote the poem which was later set to music and became the U.S. national anthem. He had just witnessed the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor and was inspired when, at daybreak, “the flag was still there.” This is one of the first markers added to the database, in 2006, by long-time Contributing Editor Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt Maryland.
| September 4, 2011||Court Street Baptist Church Lynchburg, Virginia|
The largest and tallest church in Lynchburg when it was built in 1880, it remains a landmark on the city’s skyline today. The controversy of building a black church in the most prominent residential neighborhood of this southern city is told in the National Register of Historic Places nomination form. The trustees protected the purchase with a binding contract and prevailed. After it was built the handsome church was quickly applauded by the white community.
| August 28, 2011||The Last Yahi Indian Oroville, California|
Ishi, perhaps the last Native American not assimilated into Anglo society to some degree, was discovered, starving, in Oroville this week in 1911. Befriended by anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, he spent the rest of his life at a San Francisco Museum. This marker was submitted by our California Category Editor, Syd Whittle.
| August 21, 2011||Red Dog Saloon Virginia City, Nevada|
You know you’re getting old when an era you lived through gets commemorated on a historical marker. This one says that the psychedelic rock scene began as “The Red Dog Experience” with Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and other unknown bands first playing here in 1965. Our correspondent Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California, found it in July.
| August 14, 2011||Mokelumne Hill Mokelumne Hill, California|
Local chapters of the latest reincarnation of the fraternal organization E Clampus Vitus are dedicated to, among other things, historically marking the American West. This database is full of their markers. Category Editor Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California came across the marker that marks the spot where around 1849 the first Clamper, Noble Grand Humbug Joe Zumwalt, founded the first ECV chapter. Check out the link for a history lesson on this absurd and important organization.
| August 7, 2011||Alpha and Omega Washington, California|
Two landmarks for the price of one! The database has many markers that discuss more than one thing, but this may be the only one that acknowledges its multiplicity with two marker numbers on its single face. It was submitted two weeks ago by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, who has submitted over 100 markers since his first entry in May.
| July 31, 2011||Burke’s Garden Burkes Garden, Virginia|
Three markers mark this picturesque little valley in the remote southwest corner of Virginia that is bounded by West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. I’m guessing that this particular marker had to be replaced when it turned out that the valley’s namesake and his wife were not killed by Indians, as reported on the original marker. The new marker reports that Mr. Burke lived to ripe old age after moving to North Carolina, but is silent about the wife. On the other hand, the potato peels story (on the nearby marker) is still holding as authentic.
| July 24, 2011||General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm Slaves Dalton, Georgia|
As the nation celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, many federal, state and local organizations are placing new markers to improve the public history displays, often replacing older dated or worn out markers. In other cases, new markers draw our attention to subjects which were considered somewhat controversial, and thus not covered by markers in the past. Such is the case of a marker dedicated on July 14 in Dalton, Georgia. Frequent contributor David Seibert was on hand to photograph the ceremony for a marker which discusses considerations given by Confederate leaders to arm slaves.
| July 17, 2011||The Masterson House Carrollton, Kentucky|
Profusely illustrated and popular, this marker page was added to the database in 2009 yet is one of the top 5 viewed this year. It is about the oldest brick house still standing in Carroll County. Ginger Drenning took the photographs and her dad, our intrepid and prolific correspondent, Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana, submitted it.
| July 10, 2011||The Hamilton-Burr Duel Weehawken, New Jersey|
207 years ago this week Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, felt compelled to protect his honor in a duel against challenger Aaron Burr, the 3rd U.S. Vice President. He died of his wound a few days later. This marker at the dueling ground across the Hudson River from New York City, was found by prolific Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
| July 3, 2011||Joseph L. Meek Oregon City, Oregon|
Here is a mural-as-a-marker found by our Associate Editor Kevin W. about one of Oregon’s founding fathers. The link completes the story on a sad note.
| June 26, 2011||City Of Cordova Cordova, Alabama|
When correspondents Tim & Renda Carr of Birmingham Alabama arrived in Cordova to catalog and document this marker they found the town devastated by two tornadoes, and the landmarks commemorated on the marker destroyed.
| June 19, 2011||Shikellamy’s Old Town West Milton, Pennsylvania|
Virginia may have the oldest official roadside
historical marker program in the country (1927, more info here
) but The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the organization that erects Pennsylvania's monopole roadside historical markers, was erecting marker-monuments earlier, just not roadside. Contributing Editor Paul Crumlish of Haymarket Virginia found this one dated 1921. But wait; follow the line of telephone poles on the satellite map: this marker might have been roadside when it was erected, before Route 15 was realigned.
| June 12, 2011||Sterling High School Memorial Greenville, South Carolina|
Also consider this the Marker Page of the Week. The markers at the memorial commemorate both the high school and the significant achievements of it students and educators. Contributing Editor Brian Scott from Greenville illustrates and fleshes out the story with 24 illustrations, 8 links and additional text.
| June 5, 2011||The Fourth Ward School Virginia City, Nevada|
It was hard to choose which Virginia City marker to highlight for this week’s Marker of the Week. I finally chose this one at random. Copiously illustrated by our Nevada Category Editor, Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills California—together they tell a tale of the 19th century American West. Take a look at them all.
| May 29, 2011||Memorial Day Order Northwest, Washington, DC|
The Army order is reproduced on this marker and begins, “The 30th day of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late Rebellion;” that rebellion being the Civil War. This marker was submitted by long time and prolific contributing correspondent Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.
| May 22, 2011||St. Benedict the Moor School Tampa, Florida|
This marker not only tells a story from our Jim Crow past in detail, but it comes with a poem engraved in the sidewalk next to it. It was submitted by our correspondent from Tampa, Father Len Plazewski, who also transcribed the poem on this page.
| May 15, 2011||Stonewall Regiment Boonsboro, Maryland|
This official Michigan Registered Historic Marker was erected in Maryland in 1986. Category Editor Craig Swain found another
Michigan marker erected in Tennessee. That one crossed the border in 1966. Have you noticed any other markers that have strayed from their state? Post it in the Forum.
| May 8, 2011||The Great Railroad Era Leavenworth, Kansas|
The City of Leavenworth, Kansas, has erected a number of audio markers with no text, just pictures. Walk up to the marker, push a button, and a recording tells you about the location. Contributing Editor William Fisher, Jr. of Fort Scott Kansas submitted a number of them, transcribing the recordings. This one is in front of the Union Depot, now the Riverfront Community Center.
| May 1, 2011||Old Fort Sumner and “Billy the Kid’s” Grave Fort Sumner, New Mexico|
The Kid’s tombstone is behind bars. Seems that it keeps getting stolen. Contributing Correspondent Ron Pounds of Whittier, California, submitted this interesting marker grounding the end of the legend with a fact.
| April 24, 2011||Litto’s Hubcap Ranch Pope Valley, California|
5000 hubcaps and counting. Bottles and pulltops too. Contributing Correspondent Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento found this Registered Historical Landmark in Napa County, north of San Francisco.
| April 17, 2011||Mission San Francisco Solano Sonoma, California|
This profusely illustrated marker page by Category Editor Syd Whittle is the second most viewed page on this website so far this year. This mission was the northernmost and the only one established after colonial rule ended in Mexico.
| April 10, 2011||Freedmen’s Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln Capitol Hill, Washington, DC|
This monument was unveiled on Emancipation Day this week in 1876 and was controversial from the beginning. Prolific correspondent Richard Miller of Oxon Hill Maryland found a New York Times article with the text of Frederick Douglass’ speech at the unveiling, now reproduced on this page, which makes a very interesting read.
| April 3, 2011||Pocahontas Williamsburg, Virginia|
The Powhatan Indian princess of fame and legend married English tobacco planter John Rolfe this week in 1614 in Jamestown with the blessing of her father Chief Powhatan. Their marriage brought peace between the English colonists and the Powhatans. This William Partridge statue of Pocahontas at the marker was photographed by our prolific Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington New Jersey a few years ago.
| March 27, 2011||Traveling the National Road Grantsville, Maryland|
This week in 1806 the U.S. Congress authorized the survey of the National Road, the first federal highway. When construction stopped it stretched from Baltimore to Vandalia, Illinois. Predating railroads, it opened the West to this fledgling nation. It was hard to choose one of the 124 National Road markers in the database. The Marker of the Week this week is “The National Road” marker series itself. The series highlights HMdb.org’s mapping capability; marker pushpins follow the road from Maryland to Illinois.
| March 20, 2011||St. John’s Church Richmond, Virginia|
This week in 1775 the most famous cry for freedom in the world, “give me liberty or give me death,” was spoken by Patrick Henry in this church to more than 100 Virginia colonial leaders present at the Second Virginia Convention—including Washington, Jefferson, Lee, and Randolph—to organize protests against the British. On the following month shots were fired at Lexington and Concord. Editor Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia submitted this marker last year.
| March 13, 2011||Pink Anderson / The Marshall Tucker Band Spartanburg, South Carolina|
This is one of a series of markers recently erected to commemorate this city's rich musical history. Jazz, swing, blues, gospel, country, southern rock, and americana have roots in Spartanburg and these markers—well documented by Contributing Editor Brian Scott of Greenville—include a telephone number to call to hear song excerpts and additional spoken historical information on the featured artists.
| March 6, 2011||Saluda Grade Saluda, North Carolina|
North Carolina, like New York, erects very concise markers like this one about the steepest section of railroad in the U.S. Our correspondents from Greer, South Carolina, Stanley and Terry Howard, fleshed out the story and tell us about how the railroad dealt with runaway trains.
| February 27, 2011||Twenty Murdered and a City Rises Up Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
An anonymous contributor submitted this series of 10 privately erected markers with a decidedly different language from that found on most historical markers. They are about the Pittsburgh edition of Great Railroad Strike of 1877 that shook the nation. To see all 10 in order, scroll down to the Related Markers section and take the tour.
| February 20, 2011||Levister Elementary School Aynor, South Carolina|
This was one of those state-of-the-art rural schools that South Carolina built and staffed in the 1950s in an attempt to preserve school segregation by spending to "equalize" the "separate but equal" doctrine. An amount equivalent today to $1.1 billion, financed by a new 3% sales tax, was spent between 1951 through 1955 on education in this state—an amount never equaled before or since.
| February 13, 2011||Barton Street Confederate Monument Fredericksburg, Virginia|
While historical markers are sometimes criticized for what they say, few if any have ever been put on trial. Such is the case for this marker, which will soon have its day in court. The marker was erected April 16th, 2009 with the full blessing of the city council. On April 18th 2011, two years later almost to the day, a court will determine if it gets to remain at the location it memorializes.
| February 6, 2011||Green Bay Packers Green Bay, Wisconsin|
Strictly speaking, neither of the two champions playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl have a historical marker named after them. But the Green Bay Packers did once. It’s gone missing, but it is in our database. We also have one that mentions the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is the Three Rivers Stadium
marker in Pittsburgh. Both were added recently. This photo is a file photo from the Green Bay Historic Preservation Commission that our intrepid Contributing Editor Bill Toman officially obtained. Do you have a clearer photo you could contribute?
| January 30, 2011||Groundhog Day Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania|
Just in time for Groundhog Day this week, our new correspondent from Pittsburgh, Mike Wintermantel, adds this marker. Wouldn't it be great if he or another correspondent or a correspondent-to-be is present to photograph Punxsutawney Phil on Wednesday, when he does or does not see his shadow, and adds the photos to this page?
| January 23, 2011||John Penn Stovall, North Carolina|
This one now standing is a replica of North Carolina’s first official highway historical marker. Dedicated on January 10, 1936, it was replaced exactly 50 years later with another with the same text.
| January 16, 2011||Milwaukee's Miraculous Mallard Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
I know it’s the dead of winter, but spring will show up on time again this year and mother ducks and their ducklings in cities and towns everywhere will cross streets on their way to swimming lessons oblivious to traffic. Gertie and her ducklings got on the cover of Life magazine in 1945 and now she is on a historical marker discovered by William Fischer, Jr., our contributing editor from Ft. Scott, KS
| January 9, 2011||Elvis Presley Fight Scene Madison, Wisconsin|
Elvis steps out of his limousine and stops a street fight. “Is everything settled now?” he asks. Our correspondent from Madison, William J. Toman, found this marker in his home town.
| January 2, 2011||Angel’s Flight Los Angeles, California|
The world’s shortest railway—one city block—in 1901 connected the mansions on Bunker Hill with the commercial district below. You could always save the penny fare (now 25 cents) and use the stairs for free. Relocated half a block south, it is running again and the complete story is told starting with a brass tablet on top and continuing on a kiosk at the bottom. Our correspondent Sandra Hughes of Killen did an excellent job illustrating it.
| December 26, 2010||The National Christmas Tree Downtown, Washington, DC|
It is Christmas week, and Richard Miller, our correspondent from Oxon Hill in Maryland gets a second Marker of the Week in a row with this marker he first captured in last April. He recently updated it with this gorgeous photograph of the decorated tree.
| December 19, 2010||Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca Iguazú National Park, Misiones Province, Argentina|
Connections. The same explorer with the interesting name discovered for Spain both Tampa Bay and the spectacular waterfall where this marker is located. A couple of markers in Tampa Florida submitted by our new Tampa correspondent Glenn Sheffield earlier this year made the connection to this marker Richard Miller—our long-time and prolific correspondent from Oxon Hill Maryland—found in Argentina around this time last year.
| December 12, 2010||Boll Weevil Monument Enterprise, Alabama|
The historical marker on the sidewalk calls attention to the monument, sited in the middle of the intersection, celebrating an insect considered to be an agricultural pest. The marker says the bug is a “Herald of Prosperity ” but does not explain why. Our correspondent from Tampa Florida, Glenn Sheffield, clues us in.
| December 5, 2010||Home of Governor James Duane Doty Fond du Lac, Wisconsin|
There is a marker behind the razor wire you can no longer stand in front of ... unless you are female and convicted of a crime in Wisconsin. It is now inside the Taycheeda Correctional Institution, where the oldest building in the county is located. William Toman, our correspondent from Madison, got approval from the Warden and an escort to photograph it.
| November 28, 2010||Here Albert Einstein Played the Violin Prague, Hlavní město Praha, Czech Republic|
I knew a lot of things about Albert Einstein, but I did not know he also played the violin. He played it in this building. This marker was submitted by our correspondent from Sacramento California, Andrew Ruppenstein. It is in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.
| November 21, 2010||Jácome’s Tucson, Arizona|
This marker did not have to reduce the story to a few sentences because it is designed to be read by pedestrians. The designers took this plaque that was originally affixed the the building that is no longer there and added a short essay on the history of this department store and its founder and family. Bill Kirchner, our correspondent from Tucson, found it downtown and made a side trip to photograph the founder's home.
| November 14, 2010||U.S. Supreme Court Rules On Overton Park and I-40 Memphis, Tennessee|
There can’t be too many markers commemorating a Supreme Court decision. Here is one that our correspondent Sandra Hughes of Killen Alabama found in Memphis. The 1971 decision left a gap on Interstate 40 that is there to this day.
| November 7, 2010||Phillips 66 Petroleum Company Gas Station Baxter Springs, Kansas|
Not long ago the country was dotted with distinctive gas stations. Most are gone now. This one got preserved, and more importantly for us, it got marked by a historical marker which our contributing editor William Fischer from Fort Scott recently found. I found only three others in the database. Today’s gas stations are large, bright, and boring; but unlike stations of old, the restrooms are nicer.
| October 31, 2010||World’s First Condensed Milk Factory Torrington, Connecticut|
This should be titled the Non-Marker of the Week because the marker is missing—probably stolen and sold for scrap. I wonder what it said, and who put it up when? Our correspondent from Southbury, Michael Herrick, submitted the entry, and used a wooden sign on the property as the stand-in for the bronze plaque. Who knew that Borden’s Condensed Milk—there is probably a can of it in your cupboard—was first canned here in 1857!
| October 24, 2010||Jacksonville, Alabama Jacksonville, Alabama|
Alabama erects handsome markers and our correspondents from Birmingham, Tim & Renda Carr, submit copiously illustrated marker pages. This marker summarizes the town's history, and this marker page becomes an album of Jacksonville and its landmarks.
| October 17, 2010||Four Corners – A Common Bond Shiprock, New Mexico|
There is only one place in the United States a marker like this could be placed, simply because there is only one place in the United States where four states, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, meet. Around this marker, are four others identifying how the area commonly called "Four Corners" came to be.
| October 10, 2010||Axe Murder Incident Memorial Panmunjom, Gyeonggi-do Province, South Korea|
While most of the markers entered in the Historical Marker database are from the United States, markers have been entered from 17 countries, including this one in South Korea. The gruesome title reflects on one of the many skirmishes, incursions, and incidents between North and South Korea along the 38th Parallel since the Armistice was signed in 1953.
| October 3, 2010||Armed Forces Memorial Norfolk, Virginia|
The Historical Marker database contains many War Memorials. While very different, all hold their own special meaning. This marker is unique in that it features, cast in thin sheets of bronze, letters written during our country's various wars from service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice shortly after sending their letters home.
| September 26, 2010||Belle Haven Baptist Church Kopp, Virginia|
There are a small number of markers in the database dedicated to towns that exist only in personal memories and historical photographs. This marker, in what was once Kopp, Virginia, marked such a town, or at least the church there. Once home to about 100 local farming families, the church cemetery is the only visible reminder. Thanks to recent additions from a descendent of one of those families, these memories are now available for all to see.
| September 19, 2010||Good News Productions Chester Springs, Pennsylvania|
This idyllic setting in southeastern Pennsylvania was home to The Blob one of the most iconic science fiction movies of the 1950s. The first serious production from this studio, the movie's popularity is still celebrated in an annual Blobfest at the Colonial Theater in nearby Phoenixville, where many of the scenes were filmed. Marker pictures and information provided by Category Editor Craig Swain of Leesburg, VA.
| September 12, 2010||The Coffee Pot Bedford, Pennsylvania|
In transportation’s early days, businessmen used catchy signs and unusual architecture to attract customers. Many unusual buildings cropped up along America’s highways, including this “Coffee Pot” in Bedford, Pennsylvania, which was recently moved and restored. Marker pictures and information were submitted by Contributing Editor William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas..
| September 5, 2010||Union Square Park New York, New York|
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a dedication to the social and economic achievements of American workers. While there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday, it was first observed near this marker, a National Historic Landmark site, on September 5, 1882. Marker pictures and information provided by Contributing Correspondent R.C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
| August 29, 2010||Bingham Canyon Copperton, Utah|
One of the oldest markers in the Historical Marker database was recently updated with historical photographs dating over the last century. Through these historical photos, you can see the extensive changes that have taken place here that changed a mountain into a pit, and swallowed a town along with it.
| August 22, 2010||Gold Point Gold Point, Nevada|
Sometimes the story behind a marker is as interesting than its subject. While this ghost town marker, near the homes of two former State Senators, a gold mining hobbiest discovered he enjoyed visiting ghost towns, and then found the history worth preserving, creating a whole new endeavor. Marker pictures and information submitted by Contributor Lester J Letson of Fresno, CA. An "Also See" link provides more history, photos, and other information.
| August 15, 2010||Poston Memorial Monument Parker, Arizona|
While the story on this marker starts with the bad news, it also has a happy ending. It tells the story of two seemingly unrelated episodes in history and how they became associated with each other. It's location, in the once desolate Parker Valley, became the site of a Japanese internment camp during WWII. From its misguided beginnings, the area grew to become a fertile expanse of thriving reservation to four Colorado River Indian Tribes. Marker pictures and information submitted by Contributing Correspondent Bill Kirchner of Tucson, AZ.
| August 8, 2010||Janney Furnace Ohatchee, Alabama|
Scattered around the countryside are remains of various furnaces, the heart of iron production throughout the centuries. While many have long since been lost to history, there are still a few left to show how iron ore was processed. Correspondent Tim Carr of Birmingham, AL submitted this marker, including pictures of the furnace from inside and out.
| August 1, 2010||Mount Bonnell Austin, Texas|
Fantastic views can be seen from the top of Mount Bonnell, often described as the highest peak in Austin, Texas. At the base of stairs leading up to the peak is this marker. Luckily for us, Contributing Correspondent Richard Denney of Austin, TX made the trek and shares his pictures of the surrounding countryside.
| July 25, 2010||New York Korean War Veterans Memorial New York, New York|
This week marks 57 years since the armistace ending the Korean War was signed. One of the most striking memorials to this tragic time in our history is this memorial marker in New York, NY, which includes a unique centerpiece statue and mosaic flags of participating countries. Marker and pictures submitted by F. Robby of Baltimore, MD and Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, MD.
| July 18, 2010||Port Middletown Middletown, Ohio|
East of the Mississippi, canals and waterways were a significant part of America's early history. We've even divided them into five unique series to better identify them. While there are many markers in the database dedicated to various canals, only this one (so far) is near a simulated canal water feature. Submitted by Contributing Editor William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.
| July 11, 2010||Parker High School Auditorium Greenville, South Carolina|
Although there are many historical markers identifying a local school, it's not just nostalgia that leads to a marker's installation. In many cases it is due as much to the architectural, educational and historical signifance of the structure itself. In the case of this marker, submitted and well documented by Contributing Editor Brian Scott of Greenville, SC, we find it was both the building and the school districts administration that made this school districts one of the best in the south.
| July 4, 2010||Declaration Chamber Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
While the world recognizes July 4th as the date the United States declared it's independence, there are many who could not tell you where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Thankfully this marker, contributed by Editor Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, MD identifies where the Continental Congress sat during the revolution, as well as other events there that led to making the United States a free country.
| June 27, 2010||Centennial Time Capsule Fort Monmouth, New Jersey|
There is no way of knowing how many markers have been lost to history. Whether a marker is replaced after it has been lost or removed is often up to the owners of either the marker or its location. We like to know when something changes about a marker in the database. Thanks to Contributing Correspondent R. C. of Shrewsbury, NJ, we found out this marker, maintained by the U.S. Army, is being relocated from Fort Monmouth, NJ to Fort Gordon, GA.
| June 20, 2010||Lawrence Reese Darlington, South Carolina|
Master craftsman and designer Lawrence Reese taught himself how to design and build homes, 14 of which are now included in the National Register of Historic Places. This marker page is full of stunning photos to enjoy the day looking through them; the 'American Dream' displayed. Marker and photos contributed by Contributing Editor Paul Crumlish of Haymarket, Virginia.
| June 13, 2010||Birthplace of Flag Day Waubeka, Wisconsin|
For Americans June 14th is known as "Flag Day." However, not many know Flag Day dates back to 1885 where it first started in a little school in Waubeka, Wisconsin. Since they placed this marker in 1962, the Ozaukee County Historical Society has hoped this marker would get the word out to people visiting their town. Now, thanks to the effort of Contributing Correspondent Paul F. of Germantown, Wisconsin, this marker and the history behind Flag Day, can be viewed from anywhere in the world.
| June 6, 2010||The Robertson-Towson House Stafford, Virginia|
Within the Historical Marker database are only a small handful of historical markers erected as part of an Eagle Scout project. This is one of them and includes a link to the Newspaper article announcing his achievement. Two other scouts have recently proposed, as their Eagle Scout project, to research, catalog, and make available to the world, their local area's rich and varied history. We welcome their help to improve the database, and look forward to seeing their results.
| May 30, 2010||Memorial Day Waterloo, New York|
Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. Although it was first observed by liberated slaves in Charleston, SC in 1865 to honor Union soldiers, the official birthplace is considered Waterloo, NY because the community began observing it annually on May 5, 1866. Marker pictures and information provided by Contributing Correspondent Bryan Olson of Syracuse, NY.
| May 23, 2010||The Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn, New York|
This week in history includes the Brooklyn Bridge's 127th birthday. Began in 1867 and completed May 24th, 1883, it was the world's first steel-wire suspension bridge and the longest suspension bridge in the world for over 15 years. Marker pictures and information provided by Contributing Correspondent R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
| May 16, 2010||Central Of Georgia Railroad Savannah, Georgia|
While our guidelines state the marker must have historical information to be published, we make an exception for National Historic Landmarks like the one identified by this marker. Adding context to the marker page, Contributing Editor Mike Stroud of Bluffton, SC shares the many pictures taken of the various historical trains and buildings near the marker.
| May 9, 2010||Little York Little York, New Jersey|
In the 19th Century, buildings such as this mill met the needs of New Jersey's growing population with linseed oil and, later, apple cider. A testament to quality worksmanship, the Little York grist mill has stood for over 200 years; still a prominent feature of the town. Marker, pictures and links provided by Contributor Alan Edelson of Union Township, NJ.
| May 2, 2010||Real Presidio de San Saba Menard, Texas|
Scattered around remote areas in the American Southwest are remnants of early Spanish colonization, primarily forts and missions. While many are still standing, many others are long forgotten or lie in ruins. The ruins of one such fort are identified by this marker, with pictures and information submitted by Contributor Richard Denney of Austin, Texas, who also provides insight into the confusion surrounding the nearby mission of the same name.
| April 25, 2010||The "Swamp Rabbit" Railroad Greenville, South Carolina|
While the marker is for just a small section of the Swamp Rabbit's original route, its location shows the great effort Greenville is taking to revitilize its city center. Now part of the rails-to-trails network the Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail runs 13 miles north along the Reedy River. Contributing Editor Brian Scott of Greenville, SC has provided several pictures and links for more information, and even a 1926 news article.
| April 18, 2010||Calico’s School House Yermo, California|
One room schoolhouses hold a special place in the hearts of local communities, and it shows with the many markers about them surrounding this great country. Some are clapboard sided buildings, some are brick or local stone; some are plain, and others are more fanciful, like this one. Marker and pictures submitted by Category Editor Syd Whittle, of El Dorado Hills, California.
| April 11, 2010||Carter Jackson Monument Wakefield, Rhode Island|
In 1889, roadside Historical Markers were very rare, but Joseph Peace Hazard wanted a man remembered and filled all four sides of this low stone pillar with a lengthy inscription. For over 100 years, it was a visible reminder to locals and passing motorists. Today, it is surrounded by vegetation, virtually invisible and nearly impossible to photograph. Luckily, Contributing Correspondent Dwight C. Brown Jr. of Bradford, RI provided some taken over 20 years ago.
| April 4, 2010||First Workers' Compensation Law Mosinee, Wisconsin|
Historical Markers are often removed to keep them safe during road improvements or when their locations are no longer accessible. That was the case of this marker, originally in a wayside area near Mosinee, Wisconsin. When the highway was upgraded, the wayside was closed and the marker removed. Until last week, it's location was unknown. It was recently found at the Marathon County Historical Society by new Correspondent Paul F. of Germantown, Wisconsin.
| March 28, 2010||The San Joaquin Valley Railroad Clovis, California|
Historical Markers often disappear for various reasons. Regrettably, this often means a marker is gone from history. Not so with this marker, erected in 1971, stolen in 2009, and replaced 38 years later to the day. Two of the original dedicators were even present when it was replaced. Marker pictures and information provided by Correspondent Lester J Letson of Fresno, CA.
| March 21, 2010||William J. Paugh House Jackson, California|
One benefit of the Historical Marker database is to provide a respository of pictures, information and links to the subject behind the marker. In the case of this marker, one link tells the whole story on the house and its renovation. It helps that the marker page, and the provided link, were provided by the current owner of the house, Contributor Gerald Chaix of Jackson, CA.
| March 14, 2010||In Remembrance of Our Warriors / Navajo Warrior Memorial Window Rock, Arizona|
Situated in the center of a sundial like circle marking the four directions, this unique war memorial, commemorates the bravery and sacrifices of Navajo Warriors. Set amidst natural beauty near majestic Window Rock in Navajo Nation, Arizona, the marker is of few words, but lists many names who made the ultimate sacrifice.
| March 7, 2010||Battle of Clapp's Mill Burlington, North Carolina|
Sometimes it takes more than one marker to give a good historical perspective of an area's early history, so communities place several. Such was the case with these colocated markers, submitted by Paul Jordan of Burlington, NC. It tells both the story of the original German settlers and Revolutionary War events near this strategic site, where many in the community served with the American army.
| February 28, 2010||Col. David Dubose Gaillard Pinewood, South Carolina|
Contributors are encouraged to submit pictures especially relevant to the subject marker. Seldom do we see a related set of pictures so distant from the marker itself. In the case of this marker in South Carolina, originally submitted by Correspondent David Bullard of Seneca, SC, pictures of the Panama Canal's Gaillard Cut, named for the subject on the marker, were later added by Correspondent Tim Carr of Birmingham, AL.
| February 21, 2010||The Alabama Theatre Birmingham, Alabama|
Extravagant movie palaces, like the one highlighted on this marker, once defined the glamour and glitter of a city and drew crowds of thousands three to four times a day. Most of them built in the 1920s were the most fanciful and elaborate architecture of the times. Victims of changing venues and modernization, many no longer stand unless, like the Alabama Theater, concerned citizens acted to preserve them. Correspondent Tim Carr of Birmingham, Alabama even takes us inside, with pictures of the fanciful decor.
| February 14, 2010||Black Mingo – Willtown / Black Mingo Baptist Church Rhems, South Carolina|
While the goal of the Historical Marker database is to serve as an online catalog of permanent outdoor historical markers, it serves well to preserve and make available pictures and historical information about the subject on the marker. Regrettably, the subject of many historical markers, like this one submitted by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia, no longer stand.
| February 7, 2010||Gen. Henry Knox Trail Egremont, Massachusetts|
One of the earliest examples of an historic trail is the General Henry Knox Trail, a series of New York and Massachusetts markers like this one, submitted by Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. These markers, placed at intervals of a few miles, follow the route used by Henry Knox, then a twenty-five year old Boston bookseller, to transfer cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Cambridge, Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War.
| January 31, 2010||The Boy with the Leaking Boot Stevens Point, Wisconsin|
There's a lot of history behind this little statue, one of 24 found in fountains and little parks throughout the world. Tragically common to most of them, is their being subject to mindless vandalism and occasional disappearances. This marker, submitted by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, tells the woes experienced by Stevens Point's copy and their efforts to restore it for public enjoyment.
| January 24, 2010||9 Mile Creek Aqueduct Camillus, New York|
One the goals of the Historical Marker database is to capture additional information and history beyond what is located on the marker itself. We encourage commentary, links, and related photographs. By including links and additional pictures with this marker, submitted by Howard Ohlhous of Duanesburg, NY, we can see the different phases of the construction to restore the aqueduct.
| January 17, 2010||Cowan Railroad Museum Cowan, Tennessee|
Markers and Museums are often located in strategic places in towns across the United States, like this one submitted by Contributor Tom Gillard of Tullahoma, TN. Inside the museum itself, once Cowan's railroad depot, visitors are offered a rich history of area railroads and their impact on the town, while the nearby park outside offers its own little bit of town history.
| January 10, 2010||Courtney Road Service Station Glen Allen, Virginia|
Automobile travel has changed dramatically over the last 100 years, and so has the automotive service station. Here is preserved an example of an early “House with Canopy” design, popularized in the mid-1920s. The gas pump still sports a sign advertising gasoline at 17 cents a gallon.
| January 3, 2010||Jack London Historical State Park Glen Ellen, California|
Jack London, one of America's most popular authors from the early 20th Century, purchased the land near this marker for he and his wife. Thanks to the generosity of the Londons, it is now a State Historical Park and a National Historic Landmark. The marker, submitted by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, CA, is attached to the house donated by Charmian London for use as a museum, housing many of his works and memorabilia collected by them during their world travels.
| December 27, 2009||To the Memory of the Pioneers Middleton, Idaho|
Far from being forgotten, some sites of historical significance receive more attention, and more interpretation as years pass. Such is the case with the Site of the Ward Massacre near Middleton, Idaho, which occurred in August 1854. Sometime in the middle of the 20th century a local Daughters of the American Revolution placed an obelisk with a plaque to commemorate the site. Later markers include a state highway marker and three more recent wayside markers. The slight differences in the details and interpretation speak to the ever changing perspective of history. Correspondent Rebecca Maxwell of Boise, Idaho submitted this marker of the week.
| December 20, 2009||T'was The Night Before Christmas Troy, New York|
This marker's title is familiar around the world as one of the most popular Christmas poems. But it was here near this marker, on December 23, 1823, that the poem was first published, anonomously, as an "Account of a visit from St. Nicholas." Clement C. Moore accepted credit for the verse 14 years later, but controversy over the original artists exists to this day. This marker and additional information were submitted by Correspondent Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.
| December 13, 2009||Alviso Adobe Pleasanton, California|
Historical buildings are often the subject of Historical Markers. The full story of many buildings, like this adobe in California's Bay Area, could never fit on a small marker. Fortunately, Contributing Editor Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California researched and provided much of it, in text and many photographs, for you here.
| December 6, 2009||Town of Sharon / Sharon Sharon, South Carolina|
Many old towns across the United States are taking steps to recognize and preserve their heritage. In addition to erecting historical markers like this one, submitted by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, SC, they are listing their downtowns as historic districts and taking steps to restore buildings and shops, like has happened in this little South Carolina town.
| November 29, 2009||Blériot's 1909 Landing Site Dover, Kent, United Kingdom|
Historical markers come in many shapes and sizes. Some more unusual than others, like this marker submitted by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Commemmorating Louis Blériot's successful 1909 flight across the English Channel, 5½ years after the historic Wright brothers' first flight, the outline of Blériot's monoplane is marked in stone.
| November 22, 2009||Church Street Burlington, Vermont|
Many communities across the United States are rediscovering their rich histories and revamping downtown streets into pedestrian malls. Correspondent Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland submitted one such marker in Vermont that celebrates Burlington’s history, complete with a flashback and historical photographs.
| November 15, 2009||Great Ship Lock Richmond, Virginia|
Sometimes historical markers contain more information than their often short titles imply. Such is the case with this marker, submitted by Contributing Editor Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This marker provides a great background on the area's rich history and events leading up to constructing a canal ship lock in this area, now a popular park.
| November 8, 2009||United States Marine Corps Memorial Fort Myer, Virginia|
On November 10, 1775, a committee of the Continental Congress approved a resolution officially forming the Continental Marines. Since that day, Marines have defended freedom in every major war. The Marine Corps War Memorial is dedicated to all U.S. Marines who have given their lives in the defense of freedom since 1775. Happy Birthday, Marines! This marker, submitted by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland, is one of many near the memorial.
| November 1, 2009||Southern Albemarle Rural Historic District Charlottesville, Virginia|
Located along a quiet country road, this historical marker in its few words cannot fully express the beauty found in this area of Virginia. Fortunately for us, the contributor provided some handsome photographs to help display what the marker could not. Fortunately for the contributor, Paul Crumlish of Haymarket, Virginia, the weather and so many photogenic subjects made his effort easy.
| October 25, 2009||Hillforest Aurora, Indiana|
Fewer than 2,500 historic places bear the national distinction of being designated a National Historical Landmarks. While the Historical Marker database includes a small fraction of this number, there is a Marker Series to eventually collect them all. Included in the growing list is this marker, submitted by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana, outlining this graceful legacy of Aurora, Indiana's rivertown heritage.
| October 18, 2009||Paoli Massacre Monument Malvern, Pennsylvania|
This marker, submitted by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey, may well be the only stone historical marker protected under glass. Considered the second oldest war memorial in the United States, and the oldest in Pennsylvania, time took its toll over the years until concerned historians and citizens acted to preserve it.
| October 11, 2009||Lou Graham’s Sporting House Seattle, Washington|
Many historical markers around the country, like this one submitted by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland, highlight buildings and individuals that contributed to their local community's history. Bordellos and “Soiled Doves” were often a large part in their community's growth, and the Seattle area was no exception. The subject of this marker, Lou Graham, like many women of her trade, served her community in many other ways, and ultimately left her estate to the Seattle Public Schools.
| October 4, 2009||Drytown Drytown, California|
While the Historical Marker database may not be the most effective genealogical research tool, some historical markers lend themselves well to this service, like this one, originally submitted by Editor Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. Within a year from it being published, two descendents of the Dynan family, unknown to each other at the time, added pictures and additional information to the marker page, found each other as a result, and used the opportunity to connect and share their sides of the family history.
| September 27, 2009||The Wisconsin Company Manassas, Virginia|
Many decades after the Civil War, veteran George Albee returned to the battlefield of the 2nd Manassas. On one of several visits between 1878 and the early 1900s, Albee placed a simple wooden sign indicating the location his company stood and fought on August 30, 1862. The original, weathered and deteriorated, is now in the Manassas National Battlefield Park collection. But a replacement wooden marker stands at the same point where Albee and other men from Wisconsin fought that day. Historian Jim Burgess provided the detailed history of this marker of the week to editor Craig Swain.
| September 20, 2009||What is it? Cape May Point, New Jersey|
Sometimes, historical markers are erected to identify objects or structures whose importance has been lost over time. Such is the case with this marker, submitted by Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. The appropriately titled marker identifies to beach visitors the odd concrete structure, once an important addition to World War II shore defenses, along this stretch of New Jersey coastline.
| September 13, 2009||Site of the Mission of San Juan del Puerto Fort George Island, Florida|
Occasionally when our volunteers are "collecting" markers, they also uncover an odd history behind the marker itself. That was the case with this marker, submitted by Correspondent Julie Szabo of Oldsmar, Florida. The man in this pictue, who only identified himself as MarkerMan, had found it after it had sat in storage for almost 30 years. He had apparently researched its original location and was reinstalling it himself at the time Ms. Szabo arrived.
| September 6, 2009||Benjamin Welch Owens, CSA Lothian, Maryland|
Another Historical Marker Database milestone was reached with the 20,000th marker, recently submitted by Contributing Editor F. Robby of Baltimore. It took one year and two days to publish 10,000 historical markers, double the rate of the previous year. While singled out as the Marker of the Week, it is honored here as a symbol of the efforts of all HMdb volunteers, and in appreciation for your outstanding support.
| August 30, 2009||Crash of the USS Shenandoah / Lighter-Than-Air Flight Ava, Ohio|
Every now and again, a visitor to the Historical Marker database finds and contributes a historical pictures from their files, helping to improve the story behind a particular historical marker. That was the case with this marker, where new correspondent Jessica Tiderman of Hamler, Ohio contributed historical photos of the Shenandoah crash, adding a great visual reference to the marker page, originally submitted by William Fischer, Jr. of Lancaster, Ohio.
| August 23, 2009||The Burnt District Monument Harrisonville, Missouri|
Contributor Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas located this unique monument in Harrosonville, Missouri recalling an event from the Civil War. In response to increased partisan warfare along the Kansas-Missouri border area, a Federal commander issued "General Orders No. 11" on August 25, 1863 requiring the removal of Confederate sympathizers from certain counties. The pro-Union families that remained were in turn harassed by Confederate raiders. As a result, little remained but chimneys and burnt houses. This reconstructed chimney represents the families displaced by the war and plaques on the sides offer a wealth of details.
| August 16, 2009||Woodstock Music and Arts Fair Bethel, New York|
This week marks the 40th Anniversary of the "Three Days of Peace and Music" held on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York. Behind this marker, submitted by Correspondent Erik Lander of Brooklyn, New York, with additional pictures by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York, the hillside in the background forms a natural amphitheater were thousands of concert attendees enjoyed what would become the most famous rock concert ever. The festival site is much quieter now.
| August 9, 2009||The Little Rock Rockbridge, Wisconsin|
In the days before maps were readily available, landmarks played an important part in early settlers' travels. This marker, submitted by Contributing Editor Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, showcases "the Little Rock" which began as a supply of building stone and ended up a natural gateway for the road from Rockbridge to Woodstock, Wisconsin.
| August 2, 2009||Tolliver Airship Livermore, California|
Historical markers come in many shapes and sizes, and cover many different times and topics, some less serious than others. One Western Heritage organization, E Clampus Vitus, takes particular pride in pointing out more absurd moments in history. This marker, submitted by West Coast Editor Syd Whittle, highlights the folly of one man who dreamt of building an airship, tried twice to build it, but mysteriously never managed to get it off the ground.
| July 26, 2009||Miami & Erie Canal Providence, Ohio|
While most markers tell a short story about a local area landmark or event, the area near this marker allows visitors a taste of the historical era behind the marker. Toledo, Ohio Correspondent Dale K. Benington submitted this entry, detailing not only the marker, but the unique boat ride offered in nearby Providence Metropark.
| July 19, 2009||Madonna of the Trail Bethesda, Maryland|
These monuments were dedicated to the spirit of pioneer women, providing a symbol of their courage and faith to migrate and establish new homes in the west. Created by sculptor August Leimbach and commissioned by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) in 1929, they were placed along the National Old Trails Highway in each state the road passed through. This one, submitted by Contributing Editor Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland, was the last of the twelve erected.
| July 12, 2009||369th Infantry Regiment Memorial Harlem, New York|
Many historical markers you see along your travels are there to point out historical events. This marker, submitted by Correspondent Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, MD, commemorates another type of marker, a monument to the heroic Harlem Hellfighters. This New York unit was the first American unit to see combat in World War I, fighting it out on the front lines until the Armistice, the longest of any American unit.
| July 5, 2009||Colma City Hall Colma, California|
While the marker's a bit faded and the building no more impressive than many others, the story along with it is noteworthy. You see, in 1900 San Francisco prohibited burials within city limits. Then, in 1914, removal notices were sent out. Colma inherited hundreds of thousands of evicted monuments and remains. As many had no relatives to pay the $10 removal fee, many remains went into mass graves. There are now 17 cemeteries within this small two mile square mile area, including a pet cemetery. Despite this, the town's slogan is "It's Great to be Alive in Colma".
| June 28, 2009||Hull’s Trail Dunkirk, Ohio|
Almost 100 years ago, Hardin County, Ohio erected markers to celebrate their role in the War of 1812. In 1912, using the front stone columns from their old courthouse, the county marked "Hull's Trail," the path Hull traveled from Urbana, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan. Pictures of many of these stone columns, and the traditional highway historical marker on this page, were submitted by Correspondent Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
| June 21, 2009||Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Crow Agency, Montana|
It's taken a year and a half to finally get pictures of all four sides of this marker, commemorating the soldiers of the 7th US Cavalry who died at the Little Bighorn Battlefield, 133 years ago this week. Correspondent Mike Stroud initiated the entry, with pictures he took in June 1992. The page was recently updated by a relative of one of the soldiers listed on the monument.
| June 14, 2009||Joaquin Murrieta and Murrieta's Well Livermore, California|
Joaquin Murrieta is one of California's biggest "folklore" characters from our past; right up there with Black Bart. His story is told throughout California on several historical markers, like this one submitted by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. While this marker, and many others, praise him as a local "Robin Hood," historical evidence suggests differently. An included link tells the true story.
| June 7, 2009||John W. Heisman Birth Site Cleveland, Ohio|
Sometimes, markers are placed in the wrong location. Editor Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio, had occasionally heard rumors that the marker in front of the birthplace of Hall of Famer John Heisman was in front of the wrong house, an error which occurred due a change in the numbering of the houses. He was able to locate a copy of the original deed transferring the house to the Heisman family, and, utilizing historic maps, locate the correct house. Documentation of this research is included with the photographs of the marker and the house.
| May 31, 2009||Leonidas Taylor Woodland, California|
It's not often, miles from the nearest town, one comes across an obelisk marker like this one submitted by Correspondent Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. There is just enough room for visitors to park on the side of the road to pause and reflect on one man's short life and tragic end, and the love of friends who sought to honor him.
| May 24, 2009||The Honolulu Memorial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Honolulu, Hawaii|
One of the most comprehensive entries in the database is The Honolulu Memorial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. This stunning memorial, located in Honolulu's Punchbowl, is one of those rare war memorials where historical information is included. Visitors can read a thorough history of war in the Pacific theatre and follow events through a map gallery of World War II and the Korean War. Originally submitted by Correspondent Mike Stroud of Bluffton, SC, with pictures and text recently added by HMdb Editor J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
| May 17, 2009||Annie Oakley, 1860 - 1926 Greenville, Ohio|
Many small towns across America often honor their home town hero with historical Markers. Darke County Ohio honored one of their own, Annie Oakley, at this site with both a traditional marker and a life-sized statue. Both the marker and statue are well presented with pictures submitted by Correspondent William Fischer, Jr. of Lancaster, Ohio.
| May 10, 2009||Humphrey the Humpback Whale Rio Vista, California|
For a brief period in 1985, news around the country centered on a whale. Dubbed "Humphrey," the whale quickly became the most widely publicized humpback whale in history. Concerned for his safety, people around the world watched him errantly travel into San Francisco Bay and up the Sacramento River as far as Rio Vista, where this marker is located. The marker, one of less than a hundred entered dedicated to animals (so far), was contributed by Correspondent Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, CA.
| May 3, 2009||Old Fort Sumner and “Billy the Kid’s” Grave Fort Sumner, New Mexico|
While historical markers are meant as permanent reminders of historical events, sometimes markers of historical significance need help to remain in place. This historical marker, submitted by Correspondent Ron Pounds of Whittier, California, was placed to identify Billy the Kids's grave marker. Having already "disappeared" twice in the last 60 years from its home near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, the grave marker now sports an iron cage to keep it from disappearing again.
| April 26, 2009||Washington Slept Here Farmdale, Georgia|
Chances are you've heard the saying, "George Washington slept here." There is a reason for the saying; the man slept in a lot of places. He also kept very accurate records of each visit. We have a Marker Series, appropriately titled, "George Washington Slept Here," dedicated to his overnight visits. Of over 120 markers entered into the series so far, this marker, submitted by correspondent Mike Stroud of Bluffton, SC, is the first to actually announce that event in its title.
| April 19, 2009||Mount Moriah Baptist Church Roanoke, Virginia|
Sometimes in the search for "Bite-Size Bits of Local History," you get a real history lesson too. HMdb Associate Editor Kevin White stopped to get pictures of this marker and the Mount Moriah Baptist Church, and had the opportunity to speak with the church elders and take a guided tour of the church and cemetery. In addition to pictures and a copy of the church's informational handout, his history lesson is briefly repeated for readers to enjoy.
| April 12, 2009||Volcano Volcano, California|
Many historical markers are placed to recall places that are lost to history. This marker, submitted by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California and with contributions from a Sacramento California contributor, was intended to do just that. It seems, however, the town's disappearance wasn't meant to be, as "geology and water rights negated" the plan. The people of Volcano, their town no longer threatened, had this marker moved closer to the town in 1980.
| April 5, 2009||Sheriff L. L. Wyatt Greensboro, Georgia|
Few markers tell a long story, and most that do are considerably larger than your standard highway historical marker. This average-sized, road side post marker, submitted by veteran marker hunter David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia, manages to tell Sheriff Wyatt's life story within its small space, complete with humorous anecdotes.
| March 29, 2009||Branchburg Veterans Memorial Branchburg, New Jersey|
Six high relief bronze plaques flank the central stone marker of this Veterans Monument in Branchburg, NJ. The impressive artwork on these reliefs, clearly seen in detailed photographs submitted by correspondent Alan Edelson of nearby Union Township, commemorate events in our country's military history from the American Revolution through Vietnam.
| March 22, 2009||Eternal Peace Light Gettysburg, Pennsylvania|
Veterans of the Union and Confederate armies from across the nation converged on Gettysburg in 1938 - 75 years after the battle - for one last great "hurrah" for the old soldiers.
Nearly 2,000 gathered here, the majority were in their 90s and many were over 100, to view the unveiling of this monument. As one of the most popular stops when touring Gettysburg, tens of thousands visit the memorial every year. Unfortunately in January of this year, the monument was defaced by vandals. To learn more, follow the links provided with this entry, submitted by Civil War Category Editor Craig Swain of Leesburg, VA.
| March 15, 2009||Mission San Juan Bautista San Juan Bautista, California|
No history of California is complete without mention of at least one of 21 missions. This mission, the 15th and largest, is as beautiful as it is historic. Started in 1803, it has survived numerous earthquakes and been in continuous use since July 1, 1812. Current pictures and period postcards, submitted by Contributing Editor Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California, touch on its historic beauty.
| March 8, 2009||Converse Heights Spartanburg, South Carolina|
While all we require for marker entries is a marker's text, location and a clear picture, our site intends to provide a source for those interested in researching further into the area or history a marker describes. In this thorough submission by correspondent Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, S.C., not only is the marker explored, but also the neighborhood for which it was named.
| March 1, 2009||Four Locks Big Pool, Maryland|
Historical Markers are placed to honor history, promote civic pride, and educate visitors about local history. Many read markers and then seek to learn more about the person or area marked. Some markers touch on more personal history, such as this marker submitted by Correspondent Robert H. Moore, II of Swoope, Virginia, whose third great grandfather ran a flatboat along this very canal.
| February 22, 2009||Ybor City Historic District Tampa, Florida|
Correspondent Mike Stroud, of Bluffton, South Carolina, submitted this marker located at the base of an ornamental gateway arch in Tampa Florida’s Latin Quarter. The arch announces entry into Ybor City, an Old World enclave rich in Spanish and Cuban influence and once known as the "Cigar Capitol of the World."
| February 15, 2009||Abbeville Opera House (1908) Abbeville, South Carolina|
A small wooden marker with brief bullets of history identifies this 100 year old opera house in Abbeville, SC. Greenville, SC correspondent Brian Scott's interest in this Landmark of American Music led to detailed history, historic newspaper articles and 10 pictures to tell the story behind the marker.
| February 8, 2009||Becker Stone House Gallupville, New York|
Older New York historical markers like this one have very few words, and this one is no exception. Marking an event proudly remembered by the Schoharie County citizens, Correspondent Howard Ohlhous from Duanesburg, New York uncovered the history behind the marker and, very professionally, shares the details.
| February 1, 2009||You Had to Wear a Tie Shaw, Washington, DC|
Historical markers are often small, and therefore list only enough brief facts to interest the viewer in local history. This marker, submitted by contributor Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland, has much more to say, and is big enough to tell the story. This is the first of 14 poster-sized illustrated signs along Greater U Street in Washington DC, illustrating that neighborhood's colorful history through story and period images.
| January 25, 2009||Pennsylvania Turnpike Bedford, Pennsylvania|
Though telling only a brief history of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and looking very much like any other of the more than 2500 other markers in its home state, this Pennsylvania historical marker is now enjoying national recognition. Originally submitted by HMdb editor Christopher Busta-Peck of Cleveland, Ohio, this week's Marker of the Week is currently on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
| January 18, 2009||Father Junipero Serra Sacramento, California|
The first non-Indian settlements in California were Catholic missions. The first of these, in San Diego, was established by Father Junipero Serra. Serra established nine of the 21 California Missions. This statue and marker, submitted by Contributing Editor Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, CA, is one of many throughout the state recognizing his legacy.
| January 11, 2009||Schenectady Schenectady, New York|
Not only a marker outlining local history, but also one with local history of its own. This ornate marker, with a silhouette at the top depicting the Schenectady Massacre of 1690, was submitted by Correspondent Howard Ohlhous from Duanesburg, New York. Originally erected in 1925, the unique marker has been refurbished twice by Schenectady County volunteers.
| January 4, 2009||Oconee Station / Oconee County Walhalla, South Carolina|
Many frontier outposts, like the one described on this marker submitted by correspondent Brian Scott of Greenville, SC, began as military posts and grew to become centers of trade. As was common with most early outposts, Oconee Station was built near established crossroads and gathering places. One can now only wonder if it was the gentle terrain, or the beautiful surroundings, that attracted this area's first visitors.
| December 28, 2008||H.M.S. Assistance Tragedy Memorial Sandy Hook, New Jersey|
On an overcast New Year's Eve in 1783, the Revolutionary War was officially over and British ships were evacuating troops and Loyalists. In what many considered "the last tragic incident" of the Revolutionary War, 14 members of the British Navy lost their lives. A small fraction of the story is told on this marker, submitted by correspondent R.C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
| December 21, 2008||The Christmas Night Crossing Titusville, New Jersey|
One of the most famous events in American military history occurred when General George Washington crossed the Delaware River to defeat British forces in the Battle of Trenton. This historic event, depicted on this marker submitted by North Arlington, NJ Contributor Bill Coughlin, took place on a Christmas night 232 years ago.
| December 14, 2008||Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District Springfield, Illinois|
From the link provided on this page, climb into Lincoln’s buggy and follow his travels through Illinois while he was a member of the Circuit of the Eighth Judicial District (of Illinois) during 1847-1857. Al Wolf, our Correspondent from Veedersburg, Indiana, recently travelled Lincoln's route and captured 47 markers to help guide you on your way.
| December 7, 2008||The United States Navy Memorial Penn Quarter, Washington, DC|
It took 33 pictures and two correspondents to best capture and display all the markers, sculptures and commemorative panels of this impressive memorial to the sea services. Correspondent Richard Miller, a Navy Veteran himself, first entered the main marker and its story. Category Editor Craig Swain then added pictures of the 26 bronze relief panels surrounding the 100-foot diameter of the world and its center piece, the symbolic statue of a Lone Sailor.
| November 30, 2008||Safety Follows Wisdom East Fultonham, Ohio|
The "Safety Follows Wisdom" award was first presented by the Portland Cement Association in 1924. Near identical markers sprouted up in small cement communities around America. Many, including this one submitted by William Fischer, Jr. of Ohio, out-survived the plants who earned them. Though their legacy still lives on with annual plant safety awards, these costly eight-foot tall trophies are now just a historical reminder.
| November 23, 2008||The First National Thanksgiving York, Pennsylvania|
As Americans stop to celebrate Thanksgiving with feast and family, it is fitting to remember its beginnings in this country over 230 years ago. This York Pennsylvania Historic Marker, submitted by veteran correspondent Bill Pfingston, reminds us it was Sam Adams of Massachusetts who first advocated a "day of public thanksgiving."
| November 16, 2008||First Baptist Church / Village Cemetery Edgefield, South Carolina|
Churches were often a town's centerpoint during our country's early days, and this one is no exception. Many of Edgefield, South Carolina's most upstanding citizens frequented its Baptist church during their lives, and were subsequently buried on its grounds. Our Greenville correspondent, Brian Scott, captured many beautiful pictures of the church today, and its remembrances of Edgefield's most famous sons.
| November 9, 2008||Whitley County Korean War Memorial Columbia City, Indiana|
While many entries in the Historical Marker database are simply a marker picture and inscription, we encourage anyone to add new photographs, links, information and commentary about the subject of the marker. Al Wolf, our correspondent from Veedersburg, Indiana, contacted the designer of the Whitley County Korean War Memorial, who provided information and 18 pictures to illustrate the history of its design and installation by a small group of dedicated volunteers.
| November 2, 2008||Koloa, Birthplace of the Hawaiian Sugar Industry Koloa, Hawaii|
A marker in Georgia with a lot of text was recently a marker of the week for its verbosity, but this one takes the cake. It describes the history of the sugar industry in Hawaii and more specifically in Koloa on Kauai Island. And it faces a fascinating sculpture celebrating each of the diverse peoples who worked to make sugar first the Hawaiian Kingdom’s and then the U.S. Territory of Hawaii’s most important and profitable export.
| October 26, 2008||Birthplace of Kermit the Frog Leland, Mississippi|
Historical markers cover a broad range of topics. Not all are concerned with serious textbook history. Some discuss the lighter side of our history and culture. Correspondent Dawn Bowen located this marker discussing the "birthplace" of a very familiar character from many children's entertainment programs - "Kermit" the Frog.
| October 19, 2008||Site of First Ohio State Home Football Game / The Ohio State University First Football Team 1890 Columbus, Ohio|
While sports fans know there are many games over the years which are considered "historic." Yet few get their own markers. But how about a marker to a "historic" loss? Well that is just what our correspondent William Fischer, Jr located - a marker detailing a 64-0 loss by Ohio State University to Wooster in 1890. Just so happened this was the first game in Ohio State's history. What the marker doesn't mention is since the loss the "Buckeyes" have compiled a record including over 800 wins, seven national championships, and nine undefeated seasons. It's football season, and the Site of the First Ohio State Football game has our marker of the week.
| October 12, 2008||Sutter Mill Replica Coloma, California|
When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in January 1848, it sparked a watershed event in American history. During the "California Gold Rush," over a quarter million people made their way west, quickly advancing the then Territory of California into statehood in 1850. The long term effects of this mass migration and increased wealth on the American economy are difficult to measure. However, as with many historical events, the profound often begins in rather ordinary settings. While documenting the California state marker on site, correspondent Syd Whittle snapped this photo of the Sutter's Mill reproduction, showing it's rather simple construction.
| October 5, 2008||Action of Rutherford’s Farm Winchester, Virginia|
Last year this month our Category Editor Craig Swain from Leesburg Virginia was dodging traffic in Winchester looking for this marker, without success. Maybe the guidebooks were wrong. He checked with the Department of Historic Resources in Richmond and found out that it had been temporarily removed. Our Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin from North Arlington New Jersey had a photo from earlier in the year, so the marker was added to the database, marked missing. And just last Saturday, a prolific anonymous contributor added a photo taken earlier that day of the marker, newly replanted. Team work!
| September 28, 2008||Michelson-Morley Experiment Cleveland, Ohio|
Although he won’t admit it, we suspect one of the reasons our Category Editor Christopher Busta-Peck moved from Baltimore to Cleveland was that he ran out of markers. Here is one from his new home. This one is at Case Western Reserve University and is about a 19th century experiment with light—one of the cornerstones of modern physics.
| September 21, 2008||Site of Completion of Pacific Railroad Lathrop, California|
Everybody knows about the first transcontinental railroad across the United States and how the two railroads that were simultaneously building from west and east met at Promontory Utah May 10, 1869. But it appears that on that day the railroad did not go further west than Sacramento. Syd Whittle, our Contributing Editor from El Dorado Hills California found this marker and reports that it was not until this bridge was completed on September 10th that the railroad finally reached San Francisco Bay.
| September 14, 2008||Town of Oxford and Emory College Oxford, Georgia|
A lot of history happened in Oxford, and it took a big historical marker to summarize it. This one would have broken its monopole. It probably has more words on it than any other marker in the database. Our correspondent David Seibert of Sandy Springs managed to stuff all those words onto its page.
| September 7, 2008||Battery K, First Ohio Light Artillery Gettysburg, Pennsylvania|
Craig Swain, our Civil War Category Editor from Leesburg Virginia, is tackling Gettysburg in his usual thorough and well annotated manner. This marker is one of the very many he has added recently. This spring he finished entering the hundreds of markers at the Antietam battlefield in the same way. All of his and other contributors' entries from Gettysburg and surrounding the town are the marker(s) of the week this week.
| August 31, 2008||Upside-Down House Lee Vining, California|
Here is a historical marker unique in the way it has been mounted—upside down—yet appropriate to its subject. Our correspondent from El Dorado Hills in California, Syd Whittle, found it in Mono County. Everything in the Upside-Down House is upside down, therefore so should its historical marker!
| August 24, 2008||Chancellorsville Chancellorsville, Virginia|
Markers come and markers go. Our Civil War Category Editor, Craig Swain of Leesburg Virginia recently revisited the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and was surprised to find this handsome panel replacing the simple unadorned one he entered into the database 9 short months ago. Use the link on this marker’s page to see the marker it replaced.
| August 17, 2008||The Conquest of the Air Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina|
Our Associate Editor Kevin W of Stafford Virginia submitted a set of markers about the Wright brothers’ first powered flight from atop Big Kill Devil hill in 1903. It was one of those singular feats that changed the world.
| August 10, 2008||Waioli Mission Hall Hanalei, Hawaii|
Our correspondent Andrew Ruppenstein from Sacramento California has been visiting Hawaii and illustrates this marker with this stunning photograph, complete with a rainbow.
| August 3, 2008||Lancaster’s Richard Outcault Lancaster, Ohio|
Is there a better way to recount the accomplishments of a comic strip artist than with comic strip 50 feet wide? This mural was created by a local artist, Leo Strawn, Jr., for the Public Library in Lancaster Ohio. It economically states—in 13 words plus two images—that Richard Outcault created the first newspaper comic strip (in 1895) and that he created Buster Brown (in 1902).
| July 27, 2008||Alfred Goldsboro Mayor Key West, Florida|
Here is a marker that you can’t drive to. It in the middle of the ocean 70 miles from the nearest road. Our correspondent R.E. Smith from Nashville had to get to Loggerhead Key by boat to take its picture. It commemorates a seafaring zoologist from the turn of the 20th century. Alfred Mayor was an early ecologist and marine biologist who founded the Tortugas Laboratory, the first tropical marine station in America.
| July 20, 2008||Shreve & Co. San Francisco, California|
Tooting their own horn? It doesn’t say who erected this marker, but the last sentence may be a hint. This marker about a jewelry store tells a couple of interesting stories. Our correspondent from Sacramento, Andrew Ruppenstein, found it last week and fleshed out the stories.
| July 13, 2008||Westerville Westerville, Ohio|
“The Dry Capital of the World” is the subtitle of this marker about the Anti-Saloon League and Prohibition. From this town a grassroots propaganda machine succeeded in modifying the Constitution of the Unites States in 1919, making alcoholic beverages illegal. This was the only amendment to the Constitution that has ever been repealed, in 1933. This marker carefully avoids discussing the controversy. Westerville lost its bragging rights in 2004 when it granted a liquor license to the Old Bag of Nails pub.
| July 6, 2008||Fremont-Gover Mine Drytown, California|
Does this bent tin sign bolted to a wooden pole qualify for inclusion into this database? It is permanent, it is outdoors, and it speaks of history; so yes, it qualifies. One of our correspondent from Sacramento, Andrew Ruppenstein, found it and illustrated it with bright and detailed photographs.
| June 29, 2008||Uncle Sam Troy, New York|
Happy Birthday America! From a jocular response in 1812, the nickname for the United States government was born. Uncle Sam was a real person, Samuel Wilson, and Howard Ohlhous, our correspondent from Duanesburg New York, tells us all about it in words and photographs illustrating this rusty 45 year old marker. Uncle Sam lived in this house in Troy. Howard reports that the State of New York pulled Uncle Sam’s house down on USA’s bicentennial year, 1976. They’re having second thoughts now.
| June 22, 2008||St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church Gardenton, Manitoba|
Our correspondent from Fredericksburg Virginia, Dawn Bowen, is traveling across North America again, taking pictures. Last summer she swept through Utah and Nevada adding hundreds of markers with glorious photographs to the database. This is her first entry this summer, and it is also the database’s first marker from Manitoba and the database’s first marker with Ukrainian text. Luckily for many of us, it is also in English.
| June 15, 2008||Sluckup Paramus, New Jersey|
This marker quotes legend for the name of this area of Paramus. It is a historical marker or a “legendical” marker? It was submitted by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. No matter what kind of a marker it is, it's interesting.
| June 8, 2008||First Woman’s Rights Convention Seneca Falls, New York|
Speaking of handsome markers, here is another one marking the location of a historic 1848 convention. It was submitted by Bryan Olson of Syracuse, New York. This convention demanded suffrage (the right to vote) for women. They would not get it for another 72 years. Who is the woman on the marker? Perhaps it is “everywoman” or perhaps it is Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who wrote the Declaration of Sentiments for this convention.
| June 1, 2008||Demarest Railroad Station Demarest, New Jersey|
Handsome photos of a handsome 1872 railroad station illustrate this entry submitted by our newest Contributing Editor Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. Passenger trains ran on this line for more than 100 years, serving mostly commuters to New York City.
| May 25, 2008||The Lincoln Depot Springfield, Illinois|
This is the first of many markers that plot the course of Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 train trip to assume the Presidency of the United States. It was submitted by our correspondent from Springfield, Angie Shaffer. Al Wolf, our correspondent from Veedersburg Indiana, added a very informative essay and period photographs. Lincoln traveled from here for 12 days across to New York and down to Washington, stopping often and giving numerous speeches. There should be plenty of markers along the route that have not yet been added to the database. Have you seen one?
| May 18, 2008||Structures of Restriction Baltimore, Maryland|
Here is a marker about two wrought-iron fences submitted by our editor from Baltimore, Christopher Busta-Peck. The 1935 fence was designed to keep out jackrabbits. The 2002 fence behind it keeps out terrorists. The marker boasts a 100% success rate in thwarting terrorists. No mention is made of the success rate with jackrabbits.
| May 4, 2008||In 1648 Margaret Brent Asks for “Vote...And Voyce” St. Mary’s City, Maryland|
“America’s first feminist” preserved Lord Baltimore’s authority over the colony and put down a Protestant rebellion that threatened Maryland’s policy of religious toleration. But the Assembly did not give her vote or voice. Tom Fuchs, our Contributing Editor from Greenbelt Maryland, found this marker in a gazebo overlooking the St. Mary’s River. The marker depicts Mrs. Brent facing the Assemblymen demanding her vote.
| April 27, 2008||Martian Landing Site West Windsor Township, New Jersey|
This marker comes complete with a flying saucer. “For a brief time [in 1938] as many as one million people throughout the country believed that Martians had invaded the Earth” because of an entertainment program broadcast nationwide that sounded like a real newscast. The landing site is only 35 miles west of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, where our correspondent R.C. lives.
| April 20, 2008||Revolutionary Cannon Elizabeth, New Jersey|
In its first 21 years, this gun was French, then British, French again, British, American, British, and again American. Since its last capture, it’s been American without interruption for 228 years. Bill Coughlin, our correspondent from North Arlington, New Jersey, found it in front of the Union County courthouse behind this 1905 marker that explains all. It was cast in France in 1758 for the defense of Quebec and was used by both sides during the U.S. Revolutionary War.
| April 13, 2008||The Gadsden Purchase Celebration Mesilla, New Mexico|
Here is a marker that describes history pictorially. Julie Szabo, our correspondent from Oldsmar Florida found it commemorating the celebration in 1852 of the acquisition by the U.S. of more land from Mexico, this time by payment rather than by war. The artwork is by A. J. Fountain Jr. Go to the marker page and click on the photo to see it in detail.
| April 6, 2008||Baseball Hoboken, New Jersey|
Here’s a baseball marker just in time for baseball season. This one commemorates the first officially recorded baseball match at Elysian Fields in 1846. New Jersey also boasts the first professional basketball game on a marker in Trenton. Sports markers are rare. There are just a few of them in this database’s Sports category, and you can count the ones about baseball in one hand. Our correspondent R.C. from Shrewsbury in New Jersey submitted this one last week.
| March 30, 2008||Brooke, Virginia Brooke, Virginia|
Did you ever eat Nuto, the “strictly vegetarian” meat substitute sold in health food stores through the 1970’s? I never had the pleasure. It was canned in this building, a health food factory opened in 1921 by Jethro Kloss, author of the 1939 herbal therapy guide Back to Eden. Persons unknown erected this marker and Kevin W, our editor in Stafford Virginia found it. I didn’t know about Nuto until correspondent Michael Miller of Washington DC came across the marker’s web page and sent in a scan of the label. —J. J. Prats
| March 23, 2008||Beehler Umbrella Factory Baltimore, Maryland|
Historical markers are everywhere. Here’s an easy-to-miss 6 by 10 inch brass plaque commemorating the location of what is reputed to be the first umbrella factory in the United States. Can you spot it to the right of the metal door of this nondescript shuttered storefront on a side street in Baltimore? Christopher Busta-Peck, our editor from Baltimore, spotted it and added it to the database.
| March 16, 2008||Emma Willard Troy, New York|
It’s not just the gorgeous snow-and-blue-sky photos, it is also the way our correspondent Howard Ohlhous from Duanesburg New York fleshes out the story hinted at by the marker. Official New York State historical markers are very concise and our correspondent from Duanesburg New York always takes the time to explain why the person, building, or site commemorated by a marker is historic and deserving of commemoration.
| March 9, 2008||Battery F, 5th U.S. Artillery Sharpsburg, Maryland|
This is Craig Swain’s 1000th marker, added last week. It is one of the hundreds of markers around the Antietam Civil War battlefield that he’s been meticulously cataloguing this winter. Squint at this photo and you’ll see five. Craig has added more markers to the database than anyone else, and every one of them is profusely annotated. He is our Category Editor for Civil War markers and every Civil War marker that is submitted to the database crosses his virtual desk. He hails from Leesburg, Virginia.
| March 2, 2008||Fort Cass Arlington, Virginia|
Arlington County has a series of numbered markers marking the locations of forts and batteries in Arlington that protected Washington during the Civil War. An anonymous contributor recently added them to the database and this is stop 13. Our Civil War Category Editor, Craig Swain of Leesburg VA, rounded up these and other markers in Virginia, Maryland and DC into the Defenses of Washington marker series. This series illustrates the power of this database to automatically map a collection of markers. Go to the series, click on the Click to Map link, and take a look. Be sure to switch to Satellite mode and zoom in. This week’s Marker of the Week is all 40 markers in this series. Next time you are visiting our Nation’s Capital, print out this map and take the tour.
| February 24, 2008||National Corn Husking Contest Newtown, Indiana|
In 1935 the contest was held 4 blocks west and Lawrence Pitzer didn’t win. That’s about all this tablet says. But Al Wolf, our correspondent from nearby Veedersburg, Indiana, added a short essay about corn husking—it was the only way to harvest corn until the mechanical corn picker—and about the contest, which was broadcast live on national radio. I suspect the “bang board” that deflected the cobs of corn into the wagon made a great sound, perfect for radio. Finally, Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia, turns the page into a multimedia presentation by adding a link to a color movie of the 1941 contest, the last one ever held. This page will keep you engrossed for a while.
| February 17, 2008||Bonny Oaks School Chattanooga, Tennessee|
From the marker text itself, there is no way to know that this boarding school for wards of the state was beloved by many of its students. The marker’s web page makes the link. Our correspondent R.E. Smith from Chattanooga Tennessee submitted this marker on February 2nd. Associate Editor Kevin W. published it and added a link to the school’s alumni website and a want list for photos of the school. Two days later Christine Haven of Houston Texas, a former student and today webmaster of a website dedicated to the boys and girls of the former Bonny Oaks School, filled in the blanks.
| February 10, 2008||Stringfellow Orchards Hitchcock, Texas|
This tiny image does not do justice to the handsome photos that illustrate this page, which tells the story of horticulture advancements in Texas in the 1880’s. The accompanying comments by our correspondent Samuel Collins III of Hitchcock tell two more stories. One is the story of how Mr. Stringfellow paid his workers—many of which were African Americans—a fair wage. The other is the present day story of how the community came together to restore, preserve, and reuse this significant landmark.
| February 3, 2008||Exploring Maryland Heights Sandy Hook, Maryland|
At the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers is Harpers Ferry. Rich in commercial and military history, it also offers breathtaking views from the surrounding hillsides. Craig Swain from Leesburg, VA, hiked to the top of Maryland Heights to contribute a magnificent series of markers in the area. Use the Related Markers link on this page to see what there is to explore at Harpers Ferry.
| January 27, 2008||In Memory of Robert E. Lee St. Louis, Missouri|
Everyone knows who Robert E. Lee was: he was the most celebrated general of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. But did you know he was an engineer first? This marker, submitted by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina, commemorates his 1837 to 1841 work with the Mississippi River at St. Louis harbor.
| January 20, 2008||Catalino Tingzon Southport, North Carolina|
Excluding war memorials, World War II historical markers on continental U.S.A. are relatively rare because the war itself, with few exceptions, did not reach the continent. Here is an exception. This marker commemorates the Filipino mess boy and others who died in the 1942 sinking of a U.S. Merchant Marine tanker off Cape Fear by a German U-boat.
| January 13, 2008||The Four Chaplains York, Pennsylvania|
Does a historical marker have to be stuck on a pole or made out of metal? No. All it has to do is tell facts or a story (and, to be included in this database, be outdoors and be permanent). Here is a mural as a historical marker. And what a story it tells! William Pfingsten—our correspondent from Bel Air, Maryland—found it on the side of a building.
| January 6, 2008||Route of Washington’s March Trenton, New Jersey|
Next time you find yourself in Trenton, follow in George Washington’s footsteps by following this series of twelve 93 year old markers that mark his soldiers’ 1777 midnight march to Princeton and victory against the British. Our Trenton correspondent Gary Nigh found them all and you can too. Use the Virtual Tour link on its page to bring up the HMDB map available on the link on that page. They did it on foot, but you’ll need a car.
| December 30, 2007||Golden Spike Nenana, Alaska|
Here is a winter scene to ring out the holiday season, taken—in June!—by Michael Stroud, our correspondent from Bluffton, South Carolina. Can you guess the name of the mountain? This marker is currently the northernmost in our database, marking the spot where in 1923 President Harding drove the golden spike on the completion of the Alaska Railroad.
| December 23, 2007||Dalton Defenders Coffeyville, Kansas|
This is one the banks that the Dalton Gang attempted to rob that famous day 1892 when the U.S. Marshal and residents of Coffeyville stopped them in a tremendous firefight. The Marshal and three citizens were killed. Michael Stroud, our correspondent from Bluffton, South Carolina, does a great job of fleshing out the story only hinted at by a fourteen word marker.
| December 16, 2007||David Love Store Georgetown, Texas|
It was hard to single out one marker to illustrate the collection of historic building and house markers that Keith Peterson, our correspondent from Cedar Park Texas has been methodically adding to the database. Use this one to take virtual walking tour of Georgetown, just north of Austin, by browsing through the markers Keith Peterson has documented.
| December 9, 2007||Spocott Windmill Lloyds, Maryland|
Did you know that windmills were once used to grind grain? Where falling water was not available for the more typical waterwheel mills, they did the job. In the 19th century, steam power made them obsolete. Our correspondent F. Robby found this one on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
| December 2, 2007||The Wye Oak Wye Mills, Maryland|
Our Pasadena Maryland contributor F. Robby documented the death of a marker by submitting this photograph showing the marker lying on the ground, felled by the tree it was commemorating. Maryland’s venerable Wye Oak came down in 2002 and took the marker with it. The stump remains on display, the marker is history.
| November 25, 2007||First Professional Basketball Game Trenton, New Jersey|
Sports markers are rare. There are only a handful in this database. Gary Nigh, contributing correspondent from Trenton New Jersey, just submitted this one commemorating Fred Cooper, captain of the Trenton Trentons in 1896, along with a photo of the original venue.
| November 18, 2007||Curfew Bell Veedersburg, Indiana|
The inscription is short, but the story that Al Wolf—our contributing correspondent in Veedersburg Indiana—tells is fascinating. He writes, “not one word of this is made up. Even this morning at the Cafe people still remembered the details.” Check it out.
| November 11, 2007||Glen Echo’s Art Deco Arcade Glen Echo, Maryland|
Contributor Tom Fuchs from Greenbelt Maryland has assembled an very interesting and very well illustrated series of markers about the Glen Echo Amusement Park just outside of Washington D.C., one of the oldest in the country. This former trolley park is now a National Park Service park. Use the Related Markers link on any of the pages for a handy list of all eleven markers.
| November 4, 2007||Wye Oak House Wye Mills, Maryland|
Beverly Pfingsten can go into the postcard business with this picture-perfect photograph from Maryland’s Eastern Shore submitted by our correspondent from Bel Air Maryland, William Pfingsten.
| October 28, 2007||Rose Hill Port Tobacco, Maryland|
George Washington’s doctor lived here and boated over to Mount Vernon in Virginia 200 years ago faster than we can drive between the two points today. During the Civil War, the house belonged to a Confederate secret agent. Two markers mark the spot. Check out both marker pages, one of which has the larger version of the photo you see here, and marvel at the delicate spring colors that our Alexandria Virginia correspondent Roger Dean Meyer managed to capture with his camera.
| October 21, 2007||Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine Hibbing, Minnesota|
A man-made hole in the ground more than five square miles wide and 600 feet deep is maked by a Minnesota Historical Society marker submitted by our correspondent from Wisconsin Rapids Wisconsin. Read all about it and check out Keith L.’s spendid photographs.
| October 14, 2007||Lincoln Under Fire at Fort Stevens Northwest, Washington, DC|
Here’s a marker with no text save title and date. The picture visually describes what is happening. Who won’t immediately recognize Abraham Lincoln from his stove-pipe hat. Notice the action depicted around him. Our correspondent Steve Fernie from Arlington Virginia submitted this marker.
| October 7, 2007||Roland Park Baltimore, Maryland|
This marker declares Roland Park’s Tudor-style shopping center dating back to the 1890s to be the oldest shopping center in America. Our correspondent from Bell Air Maryland, William Pfingsten, submitted it and reports that the center is still Tudor and still full of shops. Roland Park was a streetcar (trolley) suburb, now part of the City of Baltimore. On this page are photos of some of the fine houses there.
| September 30, 2007||Occoquan Occoquan, Virginia|
“This is a beautiful place,” wrote Corporal Newton T. Hartshorn of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1863. This photo by Kevin W. of Stafford Virginia proves that Occoquan still is a beautiful place 144 years later. Dropping into Occoquan from the suburbia that surrounds it is like escaping into an earlier time. Don’t forget to stop next time you’re in the area. It’s infested with markers.
| September 23, 2007||Roundhouses and Shops / Railroad Strike of 1877 Martinsburg, West Virginia|
While the beautiful day didn’t hurt, you can tell that a good photographer is at work here based on the sharp, bright photos that Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt Maryland took to illustrate this page and those of other nearby markers about the B&O Railroad in Martinsburg. Railroad history is hard to find on markers, but the Baltimore & Ohio is an exception since it is tied to early railroad innovation, western settlement, and the Civil War. It has its own marker series in this database.
| September 16, 2007||Historic Knight Wheel Mammoth Lakes, California|
Northridge California correspondent Thomas O’Connor’s first submission includes photos of this rusty metal wheel. In 1868 Samuel Knight came up with the first device that captured close to 100% of rushing water’s kinetic energy: the Impulse Turbine. A jet of water precisely directed at closely-spaced small metal buckets around the wheel—they look like gear teeth at first glance—turns the wheel in the most efficient way possible. The Knight Wheel principle continues in use today for hydroelectric power generation.
| September 9, 2007||O’Shaughnessy Dam Groveland, California|
It’s easy to miss the gorgeous photographs of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir behind the dam because of the very boring photos of the brass plaques that precede them. Unfortunately this is a marker database so the boring sometimes has to come first. Please scroll down to see all of the photos by Karen Key, our Sacramento California correspondent. Well worth the wait as they arrive one by one from the server. This one is of Wapama Falls.
| September 2, 2007||Great Falls Nike Missile Site Great Falls, Virginia|
This well-researched and profusely illustrated and commented page by Craig Swain of Leesburg Virginia features a marker commemorating a Cold War missile site that protected Washington DC from the possibility of an attack by Soviet aircraft. In the “duck and cover” 1950s and ’60s it was a secret, well-guarded location 19 miles from the Capitol. Today it is a suburban neighborhood park with baseball and soccer fields in sight of this abandoned observation tower.
| August 26, 2007||Alexander Spotswood Discovers the Valley of the Shenandoah Elkton, Virginia|
Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg Virginia discovers another fascinating marker, this one written in verse. The poem, by Gertrude Claytor, tells the story of Colonial Governor Alexander Spotswood’s 1716 exploration of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. Right next to it is the database’s first marker titled in a foreign language—Latin. That marker’s title is the inscription Governor Spotswood had engraved on horseshoe-shaped golden pins given to some of his fellow explorers, dubbed “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.”
| August 19, 2007||Sunshine Church II Round Oak, Georgia|
This marker page is a great example of of the potential of this website to bring together dispersed historical records. Donald Daniel of Forsyth Georgia first submitted this page July 2006. In May 2007 Mark and Maryann Pifer of Columbus Ohio, stumbled across the page while browsing the Internet. Maryann Pifer is a descendant of B. F. Morris, pictured here, who was mentioned on the marker. They submitted photographs and a chapter from a book that has been passed down from generation to generation.
| August 12, 2007||Edwards Ferry Poolesville, Maryland|
“A Summer Morning on the Potomac.” I'm a sucker for landscapes reflected in still waters, but you have to admit this is a great photo. Craig Swain of Leesburg Virginia provides in-depth commentary and insight for most any marker he submits, and this entry is no exception. Follow the Civil War in Northern Virginia and Maryland through his marker pages and you will always learn something new.
| August 5, 2007||The National Pony Express Monument Salt Lake City, Utah|
In addition to telling the story of the Pony Express, this marker—submitted by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg Virginia—discusses the life-size Avard Fairbanks sculpture that is directly in front of it. The page includes first-person quotes from Pony Express riders.
| July 29, 2007||The Historic Southside Railroad Complex of Stevens Point Stevens Point, Wisconsin|
Photos of a Soo Line steam locomotive illustrate this marker submitted by our correspondent from Wisconsin Rapids, Keith L. This page is has 10 bright and detailed photographs of the marker, depot, Locomotive 2713 and Caboose 158.
| July 22, 2007||Convict Lake Mammoth Lakes, California|
This thumbnail does not do justice to the beautiful photograph that Karen Key of Sacramento California submitted for this marker’s page. Go to the page to see it in its full glory. Karen captured the lake in October. On the same page is Nina Sunseri’s photo of Convict Lake in January, with skaters enjoying its glass-like frozen surface.
| July 15, 2007||James Johnston Pettigrew Monument Bunker Hill, West Virginia|
Ugly marker, handsome house. Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt Maryland submitted this excellent photo of “Edgewood,” the Berkeley County house mentioned on this marker. The marker itself is a monument located roadside at the driveway to Edgewood, consisting of a 15 foot column with its capital topped by a pyramid of cannon balls.
| July 8, 2007||The Salt Lake Theatre Salt Lake City, Utah|
Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg Virginia submitted this marker—a large bronze tablet with intricate bas-relief artwork. This image is a close-up of one of the muses on the marker; go to the marker page to view this work of art in its entirety. It is signed “Mahonri 1940” indicating that this marker may have been created by the notable 20th century Salt Lake City painter and sculptor Mahonri Young. Follow Link 2 on the marker page to see photos of other works by the artist and I think you’ll agree that the connection is plausible.
| July 1, 2007||Ladew Topiary Gardens Monkton, Maryland|
William Pfingsten of Bell Air Maryland recently submitted this facinating photo of a topiary fox hunt. Take a look at the full size photo on the marker page to better see the hunter in a bowler hat astride a horse jumping over a fence just behind the pack of dogs.