Pennsylvania ranks fourth among states and provinces with markers in this database. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a state in the United States of America located in the American Northeast. It is also in the Mid-Atlantic region. Pennsylvania is some 46 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 12.8 million people. The state is divided into 67 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In Pennsylvania we have discovered historical markers in 1,232 cities and towns lying in 1,003 different ZIP Codes.
There are at least 9,772 historical markers in Pennsylvania, by our count. We have cataloged 9,712 historical markers and 2,042 war memorials—each individually presented on 11,165 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 5.3% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 60 historical markers in Pennsylvania that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.
The first Pennsylvania marker in the database, Col. Jacob Stroud, was added November 11, 2005 while the database was being designed and tested (the Historical Marker Database went live January 1, 2006). It was photographed in Stroudsburg in Monroe County and was erected in 1927. The last one added was submitted earlier today, and titled Alberta Ellen Bachman. It also is in Stroudsburg in Monroe County and had been erected in 1934. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Pennsylvania was erected in 1817. It was this one: Paoli Massacre Monument, and one of our correspondents found it in Malvern in Chester County on November 9, 2008.
Pennsylvanians don’t want to forget their Industry and Commerce history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Pennsylvania about Industry and Commerce—2,032 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is the Civil War with 1,848 markers.
The first marker added to the database with the Industry and Commerce topic was McMichaels Creek, added November 13, 2005. It had been erected in 1982 in Stroudsburg in Monroe County. The last one submitted was submitted earlier today, and titled Chester C. Davis and the Kidnapping of 1858. It had been erected in Blairsville in Indiana County. The earliest marker erected with the Industry and Commerce topic that we have listed was erected in 1890. It is William Denning, found in Newville in Cumberland County on June 2, 2009.
What is the most interesting historical marker in Pennsylvania? What we know is that Confederate Soldiers is the most viewed entry in the database from Pennsylvania since it was added in 2010. It is located in Ayr Township in Fulton County. It is also the most viewed entry so far this year.
The Pennsylvania county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Adams County, with 1393 of them. It is followed by Philadelphia County with 1,209 markers. The Cumberland Township area of Adams County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 898. In Philadelphia County the area with the most markers, 1209, is Philadelphia.
Checking the database for the city or town in Pennsylvania with the most markers we again find Philadelphia at the top of the list with 1209 markers in or near it. And Cumberland Township also shows up again in next place, with 901 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 17325 at the top of the list with 1297 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 17325 is assigned to Gettysburg PA including the Bonneauville, Fairplay, Heidlersburg, and Hunterstown delivery areas.) It is followed by ZIP Code 19106 with 443 markers. (19106 is assigned to Philadelphia PA including the William Penn Annex East delivery area.)
Getting back to Adams County, the first marker added to the database from there, John Studebaker, was added March 19, 2006. It was erected in 1948 in Tyrone Township. The last one submitted was uploaded on June 1, 2022, and is titled Thaddeus Stevens, the Great Commoner, 1792 -- 1868, in Gettysburg. The earliest marker erected in Adams County that we have listed was erected in 1867. It was First Minnesota Volunteers, found in Cumberland Township on March 8, 2009.
And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Philadelphia. The first: The Johnson House, was added March 2, 2008. It had been erected in 1995. The last: Belmont added on November 21, 2022. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1827: Treaty Ground of William Penn, added on January 10, 2021.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is currently in charge of official historical markers found all over the state. We have 2,157 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.
Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.
You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Pennsylvania have been marked with history. Check out Juniata County, Elk County and Cameron County. We've only found, respectively, 15, 14, and 10 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of Pennsylvania might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!