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New Hampshire Historical Markers - Introduction

What You Need To Know To Request A New Hampshire State Highway Historical Marker

Any municipality, agency, organization, or individual may propose a marker to commemorate significant New Hampshire places, persons, or events. In approving a marker, the DHR takes into consideration the distribution of markers by geographical regions, chronological periods, and historical themes. Preference is given to placing markers at locations that are not already adequately marked.

Marker requests should include the following:

• Draft marker text that meets the space guidelines below
• Footnotes and bibliography
• Copies of supporting documentation
• Suggested location for marker placement
• Petition as described below

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. One space is allowed for a set of quotation marks.

The proposed text should stress why the subject is distinctive and significant to the state’s residents and visitors, and why it merits the special status conferred by a state marker. A footnote citation must cite the source of information for each historical fact presented in the draft text, with two sources that do not cite each other to support any superlative claims (oldest, first, etc.). Copies of the source material should be submitted.

Sponsors should propose a marker location, but the Department of Transportation selects the final location to insure safety and compliance with road regulations.

A petition asking for support of this marker subject and location, signed by 20 citizens of New Hampshire, must also be submitted. The subject and location of the marker must be clearly stated at the top of each petition page for the petition to be valid.

The proposed text and research are reviewed by the DHR, which reserves the right of final decision, and which will make editorial changes for each text to make it consistent with current marker practices. The DHR and the sponsor must agree on a final text before a marker order can be placed.

When a proposed text is approved, the marker can be ordered under the regular, state-funded marker program, which is limited to approximately 10 markers per year, and can only be used for markers on the state-maintained highway system. Co-operative markers can be ordered for placement on locally-maintained roads or municipal lands, or when the state funds have been exhausted for the fiscal year. Sponsors of co-operative markers assume full responsibility for the cost of the marker and future maintenance through a formal agreement with the state program. At present, markers cost approximately $1500 to $1800, and there is a waiting list for both regular and co-operative markers.

The NHDHR and the NH Department of Transportation share responsibility for the historical highway marker program under RSA227C:4x and RSA236:40-44. For more information, please contact the DHR at 603.271.3483 or by e-mail at preservation@dncr.nh.gov.

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