Criteria for Marker Inscriptions
Historic markers are designed to span generations. By obtaining one, you’re doing a service to your community and the public at large. To help ensure the highest quality marker inscriptions, we have established the following criteria:
- The marker inscription must be proven using primary source documentation.
- The marker subject must be historically significant to the larger community or beyond.
- Inscriptions must be clear about why the subject (i.e. person, place, thing, event) is historically significant.
- Key dates must be included when necessary for framing context; however, the inscription should not be written simply as a list of dates.
- Inscriptions should maximize available character limits.
- The marker must recognize a historical fact that occurred more than 100 years from the time a final application is submitted. Currently the time frame is 1740-1920.
Guidelines for Buildings, Cemeteries, Farms, Places of Worship and Schools
Particular attention to historical significance must be provided when submitting an application for subjects in any of the following areas: buildings, cemeteries, family farms, places of worship and schools. If your application falls into one of these areas, consult the following guidelines:
- Buildings – Regardless of the type of structure, primary sources must prove the building’s historical significance to the larger community or beyond. A house, for example, might have had a noteworthy resident, served an important purpose or was designed by a prominent architect. Applications to commemorate buildings that still exist or remain actively used are preferred.
- Cemeteries – Consider if any noteworthy figures are interred there. That information should be proven with primary sources and included on a marker inscription. Applications for markers recognizing unmarked or abandoned cemeteries without signage are welcomed.
- Family farms – Demonstrate the farm’s historical significance to the larger community (e.g. its operation did something pioneering; there was a far-reaching impact) or the farm property still retains an important feature unique to the area (e.g. lime kilns).
- Places of worship – Identify connections to noteworthy events and/or historical figures. As with all inscriptions, the proposed text must include a more historical context than simply listing out key dates.
- Schools – There must be a historical significance to the larger community that goes beyond serving a specific portion of the school district. Ideally, the marker will commemorate a school building that still exists or even remains an active educational site. Applications that also prove a noteworthy individual attended are encouraged.
If a significant person, place, thing or event falls outside of these guidelines, you are welcome to submit an LOI. However, the Foundation has the final determination as to whether your application moves forward.