Those Markers We See So Often
They Sometimes Blend Into The Background
What are they all about, where are they located throughout our County, and what the heck do they say?
Shucks, you never have time to read them when you're driving by.We reckon the best way to describe the the markers would be to borrow the wording from the
West Virginia Division of Culture and History's website:
The West Virginia Highway Historical Marker Program was initiated in 1937 as part of the New Deal as a way to encourage tourism during the Great Depression. The West Virginia Commission on Historic and Scenic Markers worked with the State Road Commission, Works Progress Administration, and Federal Emergency Relief Administration to place 440 markers during the first year alone. After World War II, markers were placed at the sites of most state-run facilities and schools. The West Virginia Historic Commission took over the program in 1963. Since the late 1960s, the program has been managed by West Virginia Archives and History, which is today part of the West Virginia Division of Culture & History.
We've noticed the markers as we're sure you have. Some are in good condition, some are nearly illegible, and some are MIA. Many are in places some distance from the historical sites they describe. We're on a quest to find all that remain. You are invited to join in the hunt. We'd like a photo of the marker from a distance, a closeup that can be easily read (if it's not illegible), and a photo of the site that it references (if applicable).
We'll arrange them alphabetically for the time being waiting for a better suggestion.
Blakeley from Wikipedia
the old marker
and the new
General William Darke
Harpers Ferry/John Brown's Fort
(reverse of the "John Brown's Fort" sign)
See also the Bloomery of Bloomery Road
James Rumsey Bridge
(Note: there were possibly up to 7 markers titled "Jefferson County" at major roads entering the county. Some remain but several are missing. Can we find which are still standing?)
The view west 4/2010 before the new bridge was built
John Brown's Fort
John Brown's Scaffold
See also-Nicholas Roper: Johnsontown Cemetery
missing?-the sign read:
Formerly Vestal's Gap. Historic gateway through the Blue Ridge into the Shenandoah Valley. In 1755, part of Braddock's army passed here en route to Fort Duquesne. It was often used by Washington, and by armies of the Blue and the Gray, 1861-65.
Lewis and Clark
The Niagara Movement
Old Stone House
(Reverse/Star Lodge No. 1)
And Star Lodge No. 1 on the sign's reverse:
The Old Stone House
Pack Horse Ford
Peter Burr House
See Artisan Bread Making/Baking
Missing-The sign read:
Robert Worthington settled here in 1730 and built stone house called "Quarry Bank" after his family home in England. Son Robert Jr. helped establish nearby St. George's Chapel in 1769. James Nourse bought tract, known as "Piedmont," in 1770, and deeded it in 1786 to John Briscoe, who added present brick mansion to stone kitchen. It remained in family until 1979 death of Louise Briscoe.
The sign read:
Home of General Charles Lee, built on land bought in 1774. Lee, colonel in British army, resigned his commission and joined the colonists after Battle of Lexington. On this estate, the U. S. Government maintains a fish hatchery.
Prize of War
Shepherd State Teachers' College
Ruins of Saint George's Chapel
Star Lodge #No. 1
(see old stone house above)
Union Skirmish Line
White House Farm
(Note: there were 2 markers titled "Jefferson County" on roads entering the county. One is reported missing. Can we find the one still standing?)
We're asking for your help. Do you know where markers are located which we haven't listed or found above? The ultimate goal of this project would be to take GPS coordinates and pinpoint the markers and the sites to which they refer on a self-guided tour map. Also, it would be dandy to add information, photos and links to the descriptions.
There are many more historic sites than the West Virginia Highway Historical Marker Program has commemorated with these impressive (and expensive: approx. $2000 installed) cast aluminum signs. You can view a list of some HERE.