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New Hampshire Historical Highway Markers
 

New Hampshire’s historical highway markers illustrate the depth and complexity of the state's history and the people who made it, from Abenaki Native Americans to poets, painters and contemporary sports figures; from meeting houses to stone arch bridges and long-lost villages; and from factories and cemeteries to places where international history was made.

Markers Logo

List of Markers by Town

List of Markers by Marker Number


The New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker Program is temporarily on hold and not accepting new proposals for marker topics currently. Due to the ongoing challenges presented by global supply chain shortages as well as employee shortages at our vendor’s foundry, we are cooperating with their request to hold off on new orders to allow them time to catch up on a significant backlog affecting the 40 states for which they manufacture markers. We appreciate their honesty and commitment to quality. The State currently has four markers on order, and we will announce their arrival and unveiling as we typically do through press releases, our social media channels, and by updating this webpage. In the meantime, please continue exploring and enjoying New Hampshire’s beauty and history through the marker program either virtually through our interactive map or by completing a Marker Quest. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

NEW ACTIVITY FOR MARKER ENTHUSIASTS!

Complete a marker quest form – you can either download it, print the form and fill it out as you go or use the fillable PDF to chronicle your adventures when you get home – either way, document that you’ve visited 10 historical highway markers and return your completed marker quest form to the DHR for a small token of gratitude for your love of New Hampshire’s history!

Marker Quest Form - fillable
Marker Quest Form


Who can propose a marker?

Any municipality, agency, organization or individual. Individuals proposing a co-operative marker, must have a town or historical organization as a co-sponsor.

Are there criteria for marker topics? What are they?

Yes. The New Hampshire historical highway marker program documents facts, persons, events, and places prominently identified with the history of the nation, state, or region. DHR’s purpose in erecting markers is to educate the public about New Hampshire’s history, not to honor, memorialize, or commemorate persons, events, or places. Because highway markers are not honorific in nature, they do no serve the same purpose as monuments, statues, memorial plaques, or memorials. Markers are intended to present historically accurate information in as objective a fashion as possible.

No marker shall be erected to commemorate a living person.

In order for an historic event to be eligible for a marker, the event must have occurred at least 50 years ago. Likewise, a place or person must have attained its significance at least 50 years ago, although there are exceptions if the event, place or person is of extraordinary historical significance.

The subject to be marked must demonstrate a substantial connection to New Hampshire.

What is the marker proposal process?

Request A NH Historical Highway Marker

Anyone interested in proposing a marker must first submit a Proposal for New Marker Topic. Proposals for new marker topics are reviewed on a rolling basis.

DHR staff will review the proposal and respond whether the applicant should move forward with a full proposal.

Full proposals will be accepted on a quarterly basis. DHR staff will work with the primary contact person identified on the proposal to revise and finalize draft marker text. Marker text will be considered final after presentation to the State Historic Resources Council (SHRC) at which time the text will be forwarded to the NHDOT who coordinates the marker manufacture and installation.


Schedule for submitting full marker proposals:

January 1 for April SHRC review
April 1 for July SHRC review
July 1 for October SRHC review
October 1 for January SHRC review

A full proposal includes the following:

  • Draft text following the requirements of the program* including footnotes and excerpts and copies of supporting documentation from reliable primary and secondary sources
  • A petition of support signed by at least 20 New Hampshire citizens
  • A letter of support from the local governing body from the municipality in which the proposed marker will be installed
  • A map with a suggested location for marker placement


* The standard format for a state marker is a title line and up to 12 lines of text, at a maximum of 14 lines with no more than 45 spaces per line. A two-line title reduces the number of text lines by one. Each letter in a word counts as one space; spaces between words count as one space each; periods and commas are not counted.

Please consult A Style Guide for New Hampshire’s Historical Highway Marker Program when composing marker text.

Please submit your application with the understanding that the DHR staff will edit your proposed marker text in consultation with you.

The New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker Program is jointly managed by the N.H. Division of Historical Resources and N.H. Department of Transportation (NHDOT). Once the marker text is approved NHDOT coordinates the manufacture and installation of the markers. Final location and installation decisions are made by NHDOT.


Does an applicant or the municipality in which the marker is erected have to pay for the marker?

It depends. There are two paths to getting a historical highway marker. There is the state-funded program, in which money from NHDOT is used to support the program and erect markers. The other way to get a marker is to apply for a co-operative marker, whereby the marker proponent partners with a town or historical organization as a co-sponsor and enters into an agreement with the DHR and NHDOT and pays for the manufacture of the marker (currently around $2,300).


How many markers are installed each year?

Up to 10 state-funded markers may be installed annually; however, that number can be misleading. Since the first marker was installed in 1958, a number of markers must be removed and refurbished each year and the funds for those repairs comes from the same source of funding as new markers.

During the summer of 2020, the New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker Advisory Committee was created and convened to complete a systematic review of existing markers for lack of historical context among other problems. The committee is coordinating with stakeholders to address markers that were identified through a rigorous process that recognizes that that the program must be more inclusive and must celebrate a broader understanding of New Hampshire’s history, places, and people. The historical marker program has evolved as our understanding of New Hampshire’s history and the interpretation of its history has changed to recognize the value and perspective of all stories. To that end, the Committee is working to revise some markers, which may affect the number of new markers installed.


How can I report a marker that is in poor condition or needs revision?

As the marker program continues to grow in size and popularity, the DHR appreciates it when the public takes an interest in the program. If you notice that a marker is missing, in poor condition, please complete and submit a Report a Damaged or Missing Marker Form. Or if you would like express concern about the content of the marker, please complete and submit a Request for Revision or Retirement Form.


Who can I contact if I have questions about the marker program?

Please contact Amy Dixon, Community Preservation Coordinator, at amy.s.dixon@dncr.nh.gov or 603-271-3485.

TIP for working with Adobe forms: Download and save the form to your device before entering in any information. You will then be able to open, edit, and save the information you have entered.

 

 


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