For History FAQ

Can I apply for a marker commemorating my home or commercial business?

Our grants are open to all municipalities, charitable 501(c)(3) organizations and nonprofit academic institutions in the United States. The applying agency must fall into one of these categories. Often, municipal historians or local historical organizations (or related nonprofits) will apply for a marker on behalf of the property owner.

Categories: Historic Canals, Legends & Lore, National Register, Women's Suffrage

Thinking about using the words “patriot” or “veteran” in your proposed marker text?

When commemorating a person’s role in history, we prefer specific actions or accomplishments are noted. While patriot is often used to denote loyalty to the cause of American independence during the Revolutionary War, please describe the actual type of service. Examples include military service, militia, civil service (municipal officials under state or local governments), membership in a committee created to further the cause of independence, or rendering material aid such as supplies or munitions.

When noting burials in a cemetery include veterans, please be certain you are not including those killed in service as veterans. As they did not have the opportunity to become veterans, they should be noted as members of the branch of service in which they served at the time of their death.

Categories: For History, NYS Historic Markers

How do I maintain and care for my new marker?

Your marker is manufactured to last for many, many years. But did you know that regular maintenance can help extend your marker’s “like new” look for decades to come? Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.

Carefully planned placement of your marker

  • Markers last much longer when they are placed in a location that minimizes the impact of the elements. Take into consideration the proximity of your planned location to roads, passing snowplows, trees, utility poles, water, etc.

Marker pole preparation

  • We recommend using a piece of poly plastic between the connecting surfaces of the pole and marker. This is a simple yet effective way of keeping the surfaces from corroding together and making removal of the marker from the pole much easier if ever needed. An oversized piece of plastic can be cut, then draped over the top of the pole, and temporarily taped in place while the marker is set on the pole. Once the screws of the mount have been tightened, carefully trim off the excess plastic at the base of the marker, making sure not to cut into the coating on the pole.

Annual cleaning

  • Cleaning your marker once a year with a mild mix of soap and water will extend the life of your marker. In doing so, you are removing a layer of road salt, dust, pollen, tree sap and other contaminants that will eventually degrade your marker’s coating. You may have to clean your marker more frequently if it is exposed to extreme conditions. Non-metal brushes or cloth are recommended for cleaning.
Categories: Historic Canals, Legends & Lore, National Register, NYS Historic Markers, Women's Suffrage

What is a transportation canal?

A transportation canal is a man-made waterway which is used for carrying vessels containing goods and/or people. The Historic Transportation Canals Marker Grant Program only provides funding for markers to commemorate transportation canals. At this time, we do not fund markers for solely water supply/irrigation canals.

Categories: For History, Historic Canals

How can I list my property on the National Register?

Contact your State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) or check their web page for information about the National Register, research materials and necessary forms to begin the nomination process. If the property is on federal or tribal land, then the process starts with the Federal Preservation Office or Tribal Preservation Office.

Categories: National Register

What is the National Register of Historic Places?

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic and archeological resources in the United States.

Categories: National Register

I’m not sure of the best wording for the inscription on our canal marker. Can you help me?

Yes! Please give it your best shot first. It is common for us to suggest alternative text, even without being asked. The title line should always include the name of the canal being commemorated. For example: “Erie Canal” or “Hood Canal.” Also include the significance of the waterway. For example: “Increased takeoff area for floatplanes and made possible Lake Hood Seaplane Base.” Review our historic signage map for inspiration. We are always happy to help you throughout the application process! Contact us with questions about your proposed inscription.

Categories: Historic Canals

I’m not sure of the best wording for the inscription on our historic marker. Can you help me?

Yes! Please give it your best shot first.  It is common for us to suggest alternative text, even without being asked. Include the names of people being commemorated on the title line of the marker. For example, “Amelia Jenks Bloomer” or “Jonathan Smith.” If there are too many to fit the marker, note their significance, as in “Revolutionary War Soldiers Buried Here.” Review our historic signage map for inspiration. Finally, we’re always happy to help! Contact us with questions about your proposed inscription.

Categories: NYS Historic Markers

What if the inscription does not fill all the space on the marker?

Please use all the real estate on the marker. The online application includes blanks with limited character spaces to assist you in determining if your proposed text will fit on the marker. We require 1 title line and 5 lines of text. A required credit line at the bottom of the marker is already included for you.

Categories: Historic Canals, Legends & Lore, NYS Historic Markers, Women's Suffrage

Why do we need to provide primary sources when the information appears in several books?

We can all agree that historic markers need to be historically accurate. The only way to ensure that is with primary sources. If the name William G. Pomeroy Foundation is on the credit line, we want to assure readers that the inscription may be relied upon without a doubt as being well-researched, well-written and historically accurate. Not only for those of us who are enjoying the markers today, but for future generations.

Categories: NYS Historic Markers