The Indiana Gazette
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Signs reflect Group works to save
county’s history town name signs
By JASON L. LEVAN ent or were at one time: Arcadia,
By JASON L. LEVAN — and interested individuals Blairsville, Clarksburg, Com-
to handle. firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com modore, Cramer, Creekside,
“The financial cut is what Dixonville, Elders Ridge, Ernest,
It’s not just historic places and
There is a history lesson really upset me,” Chambers Glen Campbell, Heilwood, Hills-
people that have their own signs.
awaiting in your own back- said. dale, Homer City, Hooverhurst, In-
Town-name signs dot the land-
yard. One county marker is miss- diana, Jacksonville, Locust, Me-
scape as well. But they are slowly
Take a drive around Indi- ing: the one dedicated in chanicsburg, Pine Flats, Plumville,
ana County, and you’ll find 1951 that pays homage to Rossiter, Starford, Trade City and
The majority of them were
more than a dozen historical John B. McCormick, who de- Waterman.
erected in Pennsylvania by the
markers — some decades signed the first modern wind “One of our hardest tasks is to
Department of Highways in the
old, some that were dedicat- turbine. determine which of the markers
1920s and 1930s.
ed just a couple of years ago. It is believed to be in pri- we know once existed are actually
But in the intervening decades,
But they all denote a person vate hands, Chambers said. still there. Often a town only has
many have fallen down or have
or place central to the history The historical society would one left when they originally had
been stolen, often for the purpose
of the county. love to see it resurrected but two or more. Another situation we
of melting down the cast iron.
It’s a nice way to commem- that, too, will take communi- find is that they are still ‘around,’
But a statewide group estab-
orate the area’s history, says ty involvement. but sitting in someone’s garage or
lished last year called the Key-
Colleen Chambers, executive “It will have to be a grass- basement, or the town mainte-
stone Marker Trust has dedicated
director of the Indiana Coun- roots effort,” Chambers nance shed,” said Graham.
itself to preserving these two-
ty Historical and Genealogi- said. The organization encourages
sided signs. The organization says
cal Society, but it’s a practice Markers cost about $2,000 people to adopt a marker and re-
it has found at least one marker in
that won’t continue without to make, she said, and the so- pair them as necessary, and to
60 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.
community support. ciety does not have money keep them painted as a matter of
“We are volunteers with not a
Traditionally, the Pennsyl- available for that purpose. celebrating Pennsylvania’s people
penny to our name but a lot of in-
vania Historical and Muse- The commission requires and places.
terest,” said Jack Graham, a volun-
um Commission has provid- specific steps during the “We encourage people to paint
teer with the Keystone Marker
ed matching grants to pay for dedication process. them blue and gold, but we’re just
the markers’ manufacturing. Detailed documentation is happy if people preserve them.
The group has documented
But two years ago, the state required to verify the histori- Take a little pride,” Graham said.
photographically about 700 mark-
decided not to fund the cal accuracy of the subject. Ultimately, the group works
ers, some of which are visible at its
marker dedication program, A nonprofit organization or with foundries to produce accu-
THIS website, www.keystonemarker
leaving it up to local histori- individual must sponsor the rate replicas and posts, as funding
cal societies — many of effort. MARKER becomes available.
“Any that are out there are truly
which are also cash-strapped Continued on Page E-7 can be senior citizens and deserve some Nathaniel Guest, another volun-
found at tender loving care,” said Graham, teer, said the state Department of
of Elliottsburg, Perry County. Transportation does not have the
PAGE E-7 Ninth and
According to the group, town money to fund such an effort and
■ Take a closer look at the county’s 16 historical Philadelphia signs in the following Indiana has asked the Keystone group to
markers. streets in County towns are either still pres- take on the initiative.