Each year the PHMC partners with quite a few local non-profit organizations to install markers which promote PA history. Historical markers are a registered trademark ® of PHMC.
Photograph courtsey of Emilia S. Boehm, Allegheny City Society
Since 1946, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has administered a program of historical markers to capture the memory of people, places, and events that have affected the lives of Pennsylvanians over the centuries since William Penn founded his Commonwealth.
More than 2,000 cast aluminum markers tell the stories of Native Americans and settlers, government and politics, athletes, entertainers, artists, struggles for freedom and equality, factories and businesses, and a multitude of other topics.
New markers are approved and placed along Pennsylvania highways and city streets each year. Most markers are dedicated in public events featuring public officials, local historians, community representatives, and others. Each dedication presents opportunities for Pennsylvanians to celebrate and understand their heritage.
Nominations for historical markers may be submitted by any person or organization. Nominations postmarked by December 1 are evaluated by a panel of independent experts from across the state and reviewed by PHMC commissioners the following spring.
Once approved, staff members work with nominators to prepare marker text, select dedication dates, and arrange appropriate dedication ceremonies, generally within a year of approval.
Traditionally, limited matching grants have been available for the manufacture of markers; however, with the passage of the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Pennsyvania Commonwealth budget, the PHMC received a substantial reduction in their grant allocation. The program is no longer able to provide matching grants. Nominators should be prepared to cover the costs of their marker's fabrication.
The PHMC maintains its historical markers on a cyclical basis through a contract. If you wish to report a marker as missing, broken, or in poor condition, please e-mail the Historical Marker Program.
Please note: The markers associated with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission are different than those sponsored by the Keystone Marker Trust, as pictured here for Williamsport (photo courtesy of Jim Carn). Keystone Markers are different in shape, color, history, and purpose. They were originally erected by the Dept. of Highways, PennDOT's predecessor, in the 1920s and 30s at entrances to the vast majority of Pennsylvania's towns and villages and include a few facts, such as the date the community was founded and the derivation of its name. Many creeks, rivers, and trails were also marked. To find out more about Keystone Markers and the Keystone Marker Trust visit: http://keystonemarkertrust.org/