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Historical Highway Markers

Local Marker Programs

Some proposed marker subjects do not meet the criteria for the state system because they are of local significance rather than of state, regional, or national importance. The Code of Virginia empowers local governments to establish marker programs to commemorate persons or events of local significance, provided that the local markers look different from the state ones.

The goal in distingishing local from state markers is to avoid the impression that the local markers have been approved or reviewed for accuracy by the Department of Historic Resources and its Board of Historic Resources. Accordingly, local markers feature different colors from the state markers, a local emblem rather than the state seal, and the locality instead of the department's name.

Local jurisdictions are also responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their markers.

To establish a local marker program, an official representing the jurisdiction should contact the state marker program manager (Marc Wagner) to discuss the proposed program. DHR will work with the locality's designated representative to present an overview of the proposed local marker program to the Board of Historic Resources for approval. The presentation typically includes examples of the proposed local marker design as well as the initial suggested text or texts for the program. 

Photo Local programs use markers of a different style and color than the state markers, such as this one in Fairfax County.

Pending approval, the manager of the local marker program submits any subsequent texts to the state program manager to determine informally whether the texts are of local, state, or national significance. If they are of local significance, the local government is authorized to proceed with its program. If, however, topics are of state or national significance, the standard procedures are followed for obtaining state marker approval from the Board of Historic Resources. 

For more information, please contact Marc Wagner  (804) 482-6099.

The following Virginia communities have local marker programs. To learn more about them, please refer to the contact information provided.

Arlington County. Arlington County, Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201.

Charles City County. Charles City County, Center for Local History, 10600 Courthouse Road, PO Box 128, Charles City, VA 23060.

City of Fairfax. Attention HFCI, City of Fairfax, City Hall, 10455 Armstrong ST, Fairfax, VA 22030

Fairfax County. Fairfax County History Commission, Fairfax City Regional Library, Virginia Room, 10360 North Street, Fairfax, VA 22030

City of Falls Church. Falls Church Historical Commission, 300 Park Avenue, Falls, Church, VA 22046

Henrico County.History and Historic Preservation Program, P.O. Box 27032, Richmond, VA 23273

City of Norfolk. City of Norfolk, City Historian, Norfolk Public Library, 301 E. City Hall Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23510

Town of Occoquan. Town of Occoquan, P.O. Box 195, Occoquan, VA 22125

Prince William County. Office of Planning, 1 County Complex Court, Prince William, VA 22192

City of Winchester. Old Town Development, 15 North Cameron ST, Winchester, VA 22601

If you have questions or need additional information, contact Marc Wagner (804) 482-6099.