Those interesting Historical Markers

On the porch; cloudy, 60.2 F 0612

Local Historical Markers:

Example of a Historical Marker owned by New York State

There are many of these erected by the New York State department of Education in the 1920’s and 30’s although the program continued on through the 1960’s. According the the New York State Museum:

In 1923 the New York Historical Association was directed to suggest possible celebrations for the upcoming “150th Anniversary of the American Revolution”….While details are sketchy, apparently markers could be acquired from the State Education Department for as little as $2, after an application form detailing the text, location, and supporting historic documentation was filed and approved.

Lord, P., Jr. (2018). Office of State History. Retrieved November 08, 2020, from

There are many of these markers are on the major roadway going north to Kingston. That makes sense because it is one of the oldest routes in continuous use in the United States. Unfortunately is it a busy road. Thus, zipping by the various markers does not give enough time to read them. I have often though that there should be an online database. Alas, someone else had the same though. The Historical Marker Data Base is exactly that.

Example of Historical marker owned by New York State

I spent perhaps much longer than I should have looking up all of the Historical Markers around this area. The great thing about this website is it contains all of the known markers in any given area. People and organizations have privately erected markers and memorials in addition to those erected by the state education department. Many of those markers look similar to the state erected markers, however, there are subtle differences in shape and wording.

Example of a privately erected and owned historical marker

One such is the Fantinekill Massacre monument near Ellenville. Life was not always peaceful around here.

Several markers appear faded and are in need of some attention. The New York Museum website gives good information on how to clean and repaint the markers:

  • Remove rust and scale with a wire brush. A heavily rusted surface will require a wire wheel and drill to clean. Be sure to wear the appropriate personal protection gear.
  • Paint the background surface with Rustoleum Gloss Exterior metal paint, color #7727, Royal Blue.
  • Paint the raised lettering with a small brush or foam pad with Rustoleum Gloss Exterior metal paint, color #7747, Sunburst Yellow.

Markers are often placed on the edge of the public road right of way. If the marker is on private property, then permission from the property owner must be obtained before entering said property. Markers that say “State Education Department,” are the property of New York State. If the marker does not say that, then the marker itself is also private property.

Here are a selection of interesting markers:

Privately erected and owned
Most likely privately owned
Privately owned, needs a touch up
State owned
State owned, on state road right of way
State owned, on private property
State owned, along a US Highway

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