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Historical Highway Markers

Virginia Historical Highway Markers

With their texts of black lettering against a silver background and their distinctive shape, Virginia's state historical highway markers are hard to miss on the state’s roadways. There are now more than 2,200 of them erected in Virginia to commemorate people, places, or events of regional, statewide or national significance.

Virginia's historical marker program is the oldest such program in the nation, beginning in 1927 when a handful of markers were erected along U.S. 1 between Richmond and Mount Vernon. Originally the Conservation and Economic Development Commission was tasked with creating historical markers. In 1949, the Virginia Department of Highways was assigned the responsibility for installing and maintaining new markers, and in 1950 the Virginia State Library took over researching and approving new makers.

In 1966, management of the highway markers was transferred to the newly created Virginia Landmarks Commission, the predecessor agency of the Department of Historic Resources. Today VDOT retains primary responsibility for installing new markers and maintaining existing ones. In this capacity, VDOT is a vital partner with DHR in managing the marker program.

See the links below for detailed information about various aspects of the marker program including how to sponsor a new marker or search our database for the location and text of a marker. 

Photo The 2008 dedication ceremony for The Great Indian (Wagon) Road marker in Winchester.

If you wish to sponsor a new highway marker, please read Important Information for Marker Sponsors. Also, see the Application Process, where a PDF of the application for a new marker is available.

If you wish to report a missing or damaged marker, please contact Jennifer R. Loux. When doing so, if at all possible, it is helpful to provide the name of the marker, the location, and when you first noticed the marker was missing or damaged.

If you have questions or need additional information, contact Jennifer R. Loux (804) 482-6089.

IMPORTANT: Due to policy changes at VDOT, the responsibility for marker installation and maintenance has been shifted to 81 localities throughout Virginia. Hence, VDOT will no longer install or maintain markers in these locations. A full list of the localities affected can be found here.
   If your proposed marker falls in one of these localities, your marker may be significantly delayed. Please contact Jennifer R. Loux for more information at (804) 482-6089.

Upated: 4.1.14