Historical Marker Application Package (PDF)
The Historical Marker Program commemorates resources that contribute to a better understanding of
the "big picture" of Maryland history, representing people, places, and events or trends whose
influence was felt broadly across the state. To ensure that resources commemorated by markers truly
rate that level of significance, the Trust employs standards for evaluation comparable to those
established for other programs which recognize Maryland's historical and cultural resources.
Roadside historical markers must be located on State Highway Administration (SHA) right-of-way
or other state property. Note: there are no state-maintained roads in Baltimore City. The
applicant is asked to suggest a general location, but the final placement is determined by
SHA, taking into account safety standards, visibility, etc.
The primary criterion for a marker is statewide significance.
The standards for evaluating proposed historical markers are adapted from the criteria for listing resources
in the National Register of Historic Places and the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. In over
30 years of use, these criteria have proven highly effective in guiding decisions about historical
significance. They were designed to allow consideration of the broad range of types of significance
which historic resources may possess, and to recognize the accomplishments of all peoples who have
made contributions to our state's history and heritage.
For the purpose of the marker program, the quality of significance in Maryland history, architecture,
archeology, engineering and culture is present in events, persons, and places:
Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces or graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions
or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations,
reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that
have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible for historical
markers. However, such resources may qualify if they fall within the following exceptions:
Roadside Historical Markers are highly visible public "documents," and must be held to an unwavering
standard of accuracy in the information they present. To carry out its responsibilities to all
citizens of Maryland, the Trust must insist on the highest degree of academic rigor in documenting
the facts incorporated in the text of roadside historical markers.
Marker proposals may be prepared by individuals, nonprofit organizations, businesses, or government
agencies. State residency is not a requirement for application. Applications may be submitted to
the Trust at any time during the year. The applicant is responsible for providing all required
documentation. Applications are reviewed in the order received. Due to the number of
applications, degree of review required, and need to coordinate installation according to
weather and other factors, the process of review, ordering and installation generally takes from
twelve to eighteen months.
If the proposal is successful, the State will cover the cost of producing and erecting the marker,
within the limits of available funding. All markers produced and erected under the Roadside
Historical Marker Program become the property of the State.
Privately purchased markers created outside the Roadside Historical Marker Program must be clearly differentiated
from the Maryland design in form and detail. Such markers are prohibited by law from display of the State Seal, and
may not carry the ogee detail at the edge or the "pineapple" bell attachment to the pole.
For more information on the historical marker program,
contact Nancy Kurtz at 410-514-7648.
Copyright © 2003-2014, Maryland Historical Trust
About the Historical Markers Web Site
administered by the Maryland State Highway Administration, supported data development for this project.