The West Virginia Historical Markers Project
A photographic survey of over 1,000 historical markers
located throughout all 55 counties of West Virginia
Welcome to the West Virginia Historical Markers Project. This is a personal project beginning in the summer of 2021 and is not connected to the WV Archives and History Department.
Please check back for updates, which will be posted here on the Home Page. We hope you enjoy visiting the historical sites throughout West Virginia.
UPDATE (25 AUGUST 2023) – We have completed about 10 counties in southern WV so far this summer, including Kanawha, Putnam, Cabell, Lincoln, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Mingo, McDowell, and Wyoming Counties. We have also done part of Raleigh and Fayette Counties.
The West Virginia Historical Marker Program
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 Department of Arts, Culture and History.
To qualify for a marker, the site, property, district, or community honored must possess some degree of significance in state or local prehistory (archaeology), history, natural history, architecture, or cultural life.
By the year 2000, approximately 1,000 markers had been placed throughout the state. However, surveys done in the 1990s and 2009-2013 indicated nearly 30% were damaged or missing. Efforts were made to replace and repair those markers. Additionally, many markers were replaced with updated, more appropriate wording. In 2011 and 2012, Archives and History received grants to create 160 new highway historical markers on the Civil War in West Virginia and the creation of the Mountain State. Archives and History staff members have worked with historians and local historical societies to create these new markers as part of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Highway Historical Markers Program.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THE OFFICIAL WV WEBSITE: THE WEST VIRGINIA HIGHWAY HISTORICAL MARKER PROGRAM WEBSITE
NOTE: ALL CONTENT (PHOTOS/TEXT) IS FOR PERSONAL/EDUCATIONAL USE ONLY AND CANNOT BE COPIED FOR PROFIT OR BUSINESS PURPOSES