A deer in Adirondack Hall
Outreach :: State Historic Markers

Unlike many other states, New York State does not currently manage a historical marker program. Instead, local authorities are responsible for the approval, installation, and maintenance of historical markers. Anyone interested in placing or repairing a marker should thus check with appropriate county, city, town, or village historians or officials.

At present, local historians are working through the Association of Public Historians of New York State (www.aphnys.org) to develop standards and guidelines to ensure the quality and consistency of the many markers currently located on the New York landscape. Local historians and others often work with the private William G. Pomeroy Foundation (http://www.wgpfoundation.org/) to secure funding support for markers.

Marker Listings Although there is no comprehensive statewide list of historical markers, researchers and others interested in markers installed by the State Education Department between the years 1926 and 1939 can click on the following link Search Historic Markers. A separate link connects to a list of larger area markers that were installed by the State at roadside rest areas and roadside pull-offs during the 1960s. Neither list is actively maintained, and both contain references to markers that may no longer be in place. Some local governments make lists of markers in their jurisdictions available on their web sites or in publications.

Original paper files documenting the State Education Department's management of the 1926-39 marker program contain original applications, maintenance records, and correspondence. Researchers seeking access to these files should contact the New York State Archives, Cultural Education Center, Room 11A42, Albany, NY 12230; e-mail archref@nysed.gov; phone (518) 474 8955; website http://www.archives.nysed.gov.

Maintenance and Replacement

Local authorities maintain, repair, and replace historical markers often in cooperation with local historical groups and volunteers. Anyone interested in assisting with the repainting, repair, or replacement of a marker should contact appropriate county, city, town, or village historian (see http://www.aphnys.org/find-an-histrorian/). When restoring markers to their original color schemes, use standard RustoleumR colors for gloss finishes on exterior metals: “#7727 Royal Blue” and “#7747 Sunburst Yellow.” Likewise, anyone wishing to report a missing or damaged historical marker should contact the appropriate local historian.

History of Historical Markers in New York State The following essay was prepared by Phil Lord, Jr., in 1996.
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