I’ve enjoyed following and participating in the WV Tag-O-Rama, and finding interesting locations led me to this site about the West Virginia Historical Marker Program. Here is a brief background of the Historical Marker Program as noted on their website:
It was implemented in 1937, during the Great Depression, to encourage tourism. The West Virginia Commission on Historic and Scenic Markers worked with the State Road Commission, Works Progress Administration, and Federal Emergency Relief Administration to place 440 markers during the first year alone. After World War II, markers were placed at the sites of most state-run facilities and schools. The West Virginia Historic Commission took over the program in 1963. Since the late 1960s, the program has been managed by the West Virginia State Archives, which is today part of the West Virginia Division of Culture & History.
The State Archives maintains files on each of the markers. Unfortunately, many of these files are outdated because markers have been moved and road names have been changed. Approximately 1,000 markers have been placed in West Virginia. However, the recent survey indicates nearly 30% are no longer standing and a majority of the remaining markers are in dire need of repair.There is no state funding to repair or replace markers. Some historical societies and civic groups assume the cost for refurbishing markers in their counties. Missing or damaged markers should be reported to the State Archives.
My goal in this thread is to gather photos and a brief footnote on all of the remaining markers. There should be about 700+ of them out there. If you visit the WV Historical Markers website http://www.wvculture.org/history/markers.html you can find lists of markers in each county. (See Markers Database page)
Perhaps we can do a small part to assist the Dept of Archives and History to maintain these signs and keep a bit of WV history alive. Enough talk – now let’s get riding!!
To see what Markers have been posted, please click on the link below. As I find time, I will try to keep the list updated as much as possible.
TOTAL MARKERS TAGGED - Appx 825 (Accounts for duplicate County-Line markers)
This is an opportunity for all riders to contribute to the awareness of our WV History (and to make up for sleeping through history class like I did - sorry, Mr. Poling!), and it’s just a good excuse to get out there and ride. I believe every county has at least a few markers, so nobody should feel left out.
A few simple guidelines, please:
1) Only photos of the rectangular white metal signs with the state insignia on the top. You know the ones I’m talking about. (See example below) Please, no funny/cute signs or ads. The wooden sign in the parking lot of Spruce Knob (“Highest Point in WV”) is a nice sign, but it’s not a Historical Marker. Sorry. If you want to start a separate thread for those, please feel free to do so. Thanks!
2) Please post a close-up photo of the sign sized large enough to read – I usually post 640X480 and that seems to work. Also, step back and take a photo or two of the general area and the specific attraction (if applicable). Include your bike in the area photo if you would like. Three to five photos should generally be the limit, unless there are multiple parts of the attraction. It would help to give general directions to the sign if others would like to visit it.
3) Brush off your writing skills and give us a 50-100 word essay on what the site meant to you. Perhaps you visited here as a kid, or it had some sort of special meaning, or you can elaborate on the history of the site beyond the writing on the marker.
4) File photos are OK, as long as you took them (no copying from other websites)
5) If you find that a marker is missing or moved, please make a note of it so others will know. Many are already listed as MIA on the WV website.
6) Keep it clean and keep it polite. There are some North/South/Slavery history markers that could easily start arguments. Keep any arguments/disagreements/politics offline on Personal Messages. We’re not here to judge the actions of our ancestors, just to preserve a bit of history.
MARKERS STILL AVAILABLE - Appx 20
UPDATE: 20 August 2013
In the meantime, here is what I have TENTATIVELY - meaning, the markers were ordered and presumed to be delivered to the local DOH sign shops, but we don't know if they are in place.
I stopped by our local shop, and the sign man (Rick Reed) told me he had put up a few, but he still had some in the wrappers waiting to be installed. So.... with that in mind, here is a list of new or refurbished markers that MAY or MAY NOT be in place yet. The new markers did not have an exact location listed (which are on the list of questions for Joe).
*** SPREADSHEET IS BEING UPDATED WITH NEW AND REPLACED MARKERS - 20 Aug 2013 ****
HERE IS A LIST WITH UPDATES AS I GET NEW INFO - CLICK HERE To Find Available Markers, look for the X in the far RH column (Available)
Capon Lake Whipple Truss Bridge (Hampshire Co) Location ?
Stalnaker Cabin Site and Cemetery (Randolph Co) US 250, south of Beverly, near junction with Scott Lake Road
Oakwood Mine Complex (Fayette Co) WV 612, .65 miles west of Carlisle
Carswell Mining Complex (McDowell Co) WV 52, near Carswell Hollow Road
Lavina Norman (Cabell Co) 1500 block of 10th Avenue, Huntington
Jimtown/Phillips Cemetery (Randolph Co) - WV151, near intersection with Jimtown Road
WERE PREVIOUSLY LISTED AS MISSING:
Camp Carlile (Ohio CO) Zane St / N. Wabash St - Wheeling Island, Wheeling
Greenbrier CO / Virginia - Rt 60 (?)
Asa Gray / Buffalo Trail (Randolph Co) - Rt 250 near Pocahontas Co line
Fort Ogden (Grant Co) Rt 50 - E of Gormania - 1 mile west of CR 50-2
Fairfax Line (Grant Co) Rt 220 - 1 mile south of Petersburg
Dunmore's Camp (Wood Co) - Rt 2 - Waverly
Huntington (Cabell Co) - Rt 60 (5th Ave) between 7th and 8th Street
Lover's Leap (Morgan Co) - Rt 522 - north of Berkeley Springs (better get this one before someone steals it again!)
Mason-Dixon Line (Preston Co) - Rt 26 NE of Bruceton Mills at the PA state line. (** Note: still missing as of Aug 10, 2013)