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Historical Marker Program

Historical Marker
                                         
The AHC's historical marker program began in 1975 to help preservationists inform the public about significant buildings, sites, structures, objects, cemeteries, and districts in the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a historical marker?
The marker program identifies historically significant sites, buildings, object, and districts in Alabama.  The markers are mounted signs, often seen along the roadside, which contain information on the history of the resource.

What are the requirements for getting a marker?                                      To receive an AHC marker, the property must:
                                              
1) be listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places or the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage,
2) be a contributing resource in a listed National Register or Alabama Register historic district,
3) or, be listed in the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

What are the restrictions on the marker text?                                      The purpose of the Alabama Historical Commission marker program is to educate the public about the significance of a historic property. Therefore, information about the property and/or information from the Alabama Register, National Register, or the Historic Cemetery Register file must be included on the marker. The more text included on the marker, the smaller the font size will be. With the smallest font allowable- 5/8”, text is limited to only 1200 characters and spaces per side. This text limit does not included a one-line caption of 1 ½” to 2” upper case letters on both sides of the marker. If the caption is longer than one line, then the text will have to be reduced or flow to the other side of the marker. The largest text font allowable is 2” letters and is limited to 200 characters and spaces per side. 

The names of living persons of less than national significance will not be considered for inclusion in marker narratives. Only the name of an organization erecting a marker can be included.

What are the procedures for securing a marker from the AHC?

  • A historical marker application must be completed and submitted to the Historical Marker Coordinator for each marker requested, except in the case where multiple markers are going to include the same text and are ordered at the same time. A reference must be given for all statements to be included on a marker. Photocopies of unpublished sources should be submitted. Faxed or emailed copies of the marker text will be accepted. However, the text will not be sent to the marker company until hard copies of the marker application with original signatures are on file in the AHC office.

  • The Alabama Historical Commission Marker Coordinator will edit the narrative and submit a copy to the person or organization for approval. Suggested changes or approved narrative must be returned to the Historical Marker Coordinator to be sent to the marker company. The AHC staff has final approval of all narratives submitted!

  • The AHC staff will submit the final narrative and a letter giving permission for a marker to be produced with the AHC seal to the marker company. Copies of information sent to the marker company will be provided to the individual or organization ordering the marker. The marker company will communicate with the individual or organization requesting the marker about the exact price for the marker. A check for the total amount of the marker must be paid to the manufacturer before work begins on the marker.

  • The marker is shipped by common carrier to the address listed on the application. Only commercial addresses are acceptable! No residential addresses or post office boxes! Under no circumstances can markers be shipped to the Alabama Historical Commission office!

  • Please allow at least 8 weeks from the date the marker company receives the text before planning a public event to unveil the marker. If this rule is not strictly followed, we cannot guarantee delivery of the marker in time for the event and additional expenses may be incurred.

Is there any funding to assist with the purchase of marker?                    No state funds are available for markers. Individuals or organizations requesting a marker must have available funds to purchase it. The cost of the marker is paid directly to the marker company after the AHC Historical Marker Coordinator approves the narrative. The current price for a marker begins at $1,375.00. The price of the marker depends on the following:

  • Amount of text which affects the font size

  • Whether the text is the same or different on both sides                         

Who erects the marker?                                                                    The erection of markers is the responsibility of the individual or organization ordering the marker. 

What is the process for dedicating a marker?                                       The individual or organization that ordered the marker must arrange for the dedication of the marker.  Where possible, staff from the Alabama Historical Commission will attend the ceremony.

Who maintains the marker?                                                               The future maintenance of all markers is the sole responsibility of the individual or organization that orders the marker.

Are there any other marker programs for historic properties?             Many historical societies and preservation organizations across the state of Alabama have marker programs. If you are interested, please check with your local organization. The following groups sponsor statewide or regional marker programs:

Alabama Historical Association                                                    Program Coordinator: Norwood Kerr                                           Alabama Department of Archives and History                                      P.O. Box 300100                                                                  Montgomery, Alabama 36130-0100                                                Phone: 334/353-4654                                http://www.archives.state.al.us

Historic Chattahoochee Commission                                                   P.O. Box 33                                                                                Eufaula, Alabama 36072                                                             www.hcc-al-ga.org

Marker Application

Marker Company
                                                          
For a list of Alabama Historical Commission markers in Alabama, click here.
                                                            
For more information contact Dorothy Walker, program coordinator, at (334) 230-2665 or dorothy.walker@preserveala.org.
                                 
                  

 


Historic Preservation