Historical markers dot the landscape in many small towns, large towns and rural highways and byways in North Carolina. So much so that on one of my family’s many day trips I began furiously snapping pictures and soon amassed quite a few much to the “annoyance” of the daughter and The Husband. I would spot one and holler pull over. We stopped A LOT that day.
For many people (like me) the markers spark a curiosity and of course a need to stop and read (and in my case snap a picture or two or three). The signs may be about the rich history of a particular place or individual who made a difference, natural features of the area or it may be just something interesting that happened nearby.
Markers can tell “small” stories and point out interesting facts.
Prior to 1935 the North Carolina Historical Commission and many private organizations (i.e. the Daughters of the American Revolution) sponsored and erected a few historical markers and/or plaques. The State program was begun in an effort to standardize the marking of sites of historical significance. The silver and black markers have become a familiar part of North Carolina’s landscape and the first marker was placed in Granville County on January 10, 1936 (G-1 titled John Penn). To date over 1400 dot the landscape in North Carolina. At least one stands in every one of our 100 counties. The counties are divided into 17 districts; A through Q and this designation is in the upper right hand corner of the sign. The marker numbers consist of the district letter, a dash and a sequential number.
I love this one. It is one of my favorite places to in Raleigh.
These historical markers are a source of pride. They are a “sign” that an event of historical importance took place in The Tar Heel State. There are some wonderful stories marked by these markers – some of them boring, some fascinating, sad, funny and probably some that are downright bizarre. So hit the road, experience history in your own backyard, and look for the historical markers in your State. They are just waiting to be discovered so they can tell you a story!