About The Historical Marker Program About the Program In 1935 the North Carolina General Assembly authorized the establishment of the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program (Public Laws, Chapter 197). From that time forward, the program has been administered as a cooperative venture among state agencies. It is presently the joint responsibility of the Historical Research Office, Division of Historical Resources, Department of Cultural Resources, and the Traffic Engineering Branch, Division of Highways, Department of Transportation. The North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program is one of the oldest such programs in continuous operation in the United States. Prior to 1935 the North Carolina Historical Commission, which had been established in 1903, and private organizations (such as the Daughters of the American Revolution) sponsored a small number of historical markers and plaques. The state program, modeled after one begun in Virginia in 1926, was an effort to standardize the practice of marking sites of statewide historical significance. The silver and black markers have become a familiar part of the state's landscape since the first one was put in place in Granville County on January 10, 1936. Over 1,500 state highway historical markers have been erected. At least one stands in every county. For young people, the markers may spark a curiosity that leads to further study of and appreciation for the historical development of the region. For visitors the signs may be their only exposure to the history of the Tar Heel State. For residents the presence of a state marker in their community can be a source of pride, a signal that an event of historical significance took place close to home. The Department of Cultural Resources and the Department of Transportation remain committed to the program as it moves toward its centennial. Advisory Committee Maintenance Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee Established by the 1935 enabling legislation was the Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee, the group responsible for oversight of the program. The committee is composed of ten faculty members from four-year colleges and universities who are experts in one or more aspects of the state's history. Over the years many of this century's leading scholars of North Carolina history have served on the committee. Members are appointed by the secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources and serve five-year terms. The committee generally meets twice a year, in the spring and fall. Their specific charge is to advise the secretary on the historical authenticity, relative merit, and appropriateness of each subject brought to their attention; to approve or disapprove each proposal; to fix the wording of the inscriptions; and to establish criteria for carrying out the program. North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee 2022 Dr. Katie Deale Department of History Barton College 400 Atlantic Christian College Dr. NE Wilson, NC 27893 email@example.com Term expires: 2026 Dr. Alvis Dunn Department of History University of North Carolina Asheville CPO 2830 One University Heights Asheville, NC 28804 firstname.lastname@example.org Term expires: 2025 Dr. Robert Hunt Ferguson McKee 225 Department of History Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC 28723 email@example.com Term expires: 2023 Dr. Joey A. Fink High Point University One University Parkway David Hayworth Hall, History Department High Point, NC 27268 firstname.lastname@example.org Term expires: 2024 Dr. Jerry Gershenhorn Department of History Edmonds Classroom Building Room 202C North Carolina Central University 1801 Fayetteville Street Durham, NC 27707 email@example.com Term expires: 2026 Dr. Watson Jennison University of North Carolina Greensboro History Department, 2143 MHRA 1111 Spring Garden St. Greensboro, NC 27412 firstname.lastname@example.org Term expires: 2024 Dr. Blair Kelley North Carolina State University Interdisciplinary Studies Campus Box 7107 Raleigh, NC 27695 email@example.com Term expires: 2025 Dr. David La Vere Department of History University of North Carolina Wilmington 601 S. College Road Wilmington, NC 28403-3297 firstname.lastname@example.org Term expires: 2022 Dr. Jaime Martinez Department of History University of North Carolina Pembroke PO Box 1510 Pembroke, NC 28372 email@example.com Term expires: 2022 Dr. Sarah C. Thuesen Department of History Archdale Hall Guilford College 5800 West Friendly Avenue Greensboro NC 27410 firstname.lastname@example.org Term expires: 2023 Many of the state highway historical markers have now been in service for sixty years or longer. The marker materials and design were selected in part for their permanence and the fact that they wear well under all weather conditions. Still, regular maintenance, such as painting, straightening, or post replacement, is required from time to time. The Department of Transportation conducts such maintenance as necessary. Each year a few signs are destroyed by vandals or in traffic accidents. Individuals can assist by reporting missing signs or maintenance needs to the Research Branch of the Office of Archives and History.