New York State Historic Marker Grant Program
One of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation’s core initiatives is to help people celebrate their community’s history. The Foundation strongly believes that historic markers play an important role in local historic preservation by serving a dual purpose. They educate the public and foster historic tourism, which in turn can provide much needed economic benefits to the towns and villages where the markers are placed. The program also fills a gap, as New York State stopped funding their roadside markers in 1939.
Our New York State Historic Marker Grant Program commemorates historic people, places, things or events within the time frame of 1683-1922. Since 2006, the Foundation has funded more than 950 markers in all 62 New York State counties.
For an instructional guide on how to apply, click here: How to Apply
Ready to apply? Click here: Apply for Grant
This program is open to local, state and federal government entities, nonprofit academic institutions and 501(c)(3) organizations in New York State. Applicants may apply for up to five (5) markers per grant round.
Marker Design and Text Guidelines
The colors of this program’s markers are blue with yellow highlighted lettering and border. Markers are 18” x 32” cast aluminum with a 7’ aluminum pole.
The title line allows 15 characters and the five body lines can have 27 characters each, including spaces and punctuation.
For additional information, review our downloadable PDF guide: Criteria Overview for NYS Historic Markers
Primary source documentation is required to verify historical accuracy. The applying agency is responsible for providing photocopies of sources and specific statements used to verify historical facts. If selected, the strength of supporting materials substantially decreases the time-frame between acceptance and funding. If the William G. Pomeroy Foundation cannot substantiate the historical accuracy based on the supporting documentation provided, the opportunity for approval is limited.
NOTE: Images provided with applications may be uploaded. Please underline, highlight or otherwise indicate relevant text.
Check out the Foundation’s downloadable PDF guide: Proving NYS Marker Inscriptions with Primary Sources
The required LOI (Letter of Intent) and application are only accepted online. The LOI allows Foundation staff to determine if additional primary sources are required and if the proposed marker text fits Foundation criteria before the applicant completes a full grant application. Once submitted, an emailed response is provided in approximately one week.
LOIs must include the following:
- list of primary sources
- proposed inscription for marker
Applications must include the following:
- proposed installation location in specific detail (including GPS coordinates)
- brief description and historical significance of what is being commemorated
- proposed inscription for marker
- letter from the landowner granting permission for the marker to be installed
- primary source documents verifying proposed inscription
To create an account to initiate the LOI/application process, click this button:Apply Online
Marker grants are fully funded and include the marker, pole and shipping costs. If approved, the Foundation will mail a check for the total amount made payable to the applying agency upon receipt of signed Acceptance Letter. Instructions for ordering the marker will accompany the grant check. The grant recipient is responsible for installation of the marker.
Please carefully consider the location where the marker is to be installed.
- Markers should not be placed on high-traffic roadways or roadways where vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed if there is no place for a vehicle to safely pull over out of traffic.
- Markers should not be placed where the visitor must intrude on private property to read it.
- Markers should not be placed where existing signage contains the same information requested for the marker text.