WV Historical Markers - Let's Find All 700

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by pnoman, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    I've enjoyed following and participating in the WV Tag-O-Rama, and finding interesting locations led me to this site about the West Virginia Historical Marker Program. Here is a brief background of the Historical Marker Program as noted on their website:

    It was implemented in 1937, during the Great Depression, to encourage tourism. The West Virginia Commission on Historic and Scenic Markers worked with the State Road Commission, Works Progress Administration, and Federal Emergency Relief Administration to place 440 markers during the first year alone. After World War II, markers were placed at the sites of most state-run facilities and schools. The West Virginia Historic Commission took over the program in 1963. Since the late 1960s, the program has been managed by the West Virginia State Archives, which is today part of the West Virginia Division of Culture & History.


    The State Archives maintains files on each of the markers. Unfortunately, many of these files are outdated because markers have been moved and road names have been changed. Approximately 1,000 markers have been placed in West Virginia. However, the recent survey indicates nearly 30% are no longer standing and a majority of the remaining markers are in dire need of repair.There is no state funding to repair or replace markers. Some historical societies and civic groups assume the cost for refurbishing markers in their counties. Missing or damaged markers should be reported to the State Archives.


    My goal in this thread is to gather photos and a brief footnote on all of the remaining markers. There should be about 700+ of them out there. If you visit the WV Historical Markers website http://www.wvculture.org/history/markers.html you can find lists of markers in each county. (See Markers Database page)

    This is an opportunity for all riders to contribute to the awareness of our WV History (and to make up for sleeping through history class like I did - sorry, Mr. Poling!), and it's just a good excuse to get out there and ride. I believe every county has at least a few markers, so nobody should feel left out.

    A few simple guidelines, please:
    1) Only photos of the rectangular white metal signs with the state insignia on the top. You know the ones I'm talking about. (See example below) Please, no funny/cute signs or ads. The wooden sign in the parking lot of Spruce Knob (Highest Point in WV) is a nice sign, but it's not a Historical Marker. Sorry. If you want to start a separate thread for those, please feel free to do so. Thanks!


    2) Please post a close-up photo of the sign sized large enough to read. I usually post 640X480 or slightly larger and that seems to work. Also, step back and take a photo or two of the general area and the specific attraction (if applicable). Include your bike in the area photo if you would like. Three to five photos should generally be the limit, unless there are multiple parts of the attraction. It would help to give general directions to the sign if others would like to visit it.

    3) Brush off your writing skills and give us a 50-100 word essay on what the site meant to you. Perhaps you visited here as a kid, or it had some sort of special meaning, or you can elaborate on the history of the site beyond the writing on the marker.

    4) File photos are OK, as long as you took them (no copying from other websites)

    5) If you find that a marker is missing or moved, please make a note of it so others will know. Many are already listed as MIA on the WV website.

    6) Keep it clean and keep it polite. There are some North/South/Slavery history markers that could easily start arguments. Keep any arguments/disagreements/politics offline on Personal Messages. We're not here to judge the actions of our ancestors, just to preserve a bit of history. Perhaps we can do a small part to assist the Dept of Archives and History to maintain these signs and keep a bit of WV history alive. Enough talk - now let's get riding!!

    To see what Markers have been posted, please click on the link below. As I find time, I will try to keep the list updated as much as possible.


    TOTAL MARKERS TAGGED - Appx 825 (Accounts for duplicate County-Line markers)

    MARKERS STILL AVAILABLE - Appx 20

    *************************************************


    UPDATE: 01 Sept 2015

    Here is what I have TENTATIVELY - meaning, the markers were ordered and presumed to be delivered to the local DOH sign shops, but we don't know if they are in place. I stopped by our local shop earlier this year, and the sign man (Rick Reed) told me he had put up a few, but he still had some in the wrappers waiting to be installed. So.... with that in mind, here is a list of new or refurbished markers that MAY or MAY NOT be in place yet. The new markers did not have an exact location listed (which are on the list of questions for Joe).


    *** SPREADSHEET IS BEING UPDATED WITH NEW AND REPLACED MARKERS - ****

    HERE IS A LIST WITH UPDATES AS I GET NEW INFO - **UPDATED UP TO LINCOLN COUNTY** CLICK HERE To Find Available Markers, look for the X in the far RH column (Available)

    NEW MARKERS: (SEE POST # 1422 on Page72)

    Oakwood Mine Complex (Fayette Co) WV 612, .65 miles west of Carlisle

    Carswell Mining Complex (McDowell Co) WV 52, near Carswell Hollow Road

    Lavina Norman (Cabell Co) 1500 block of 10th Avenue, Huntington



    WERE PREVIOUSLY LISTED AS MISSING:

    Greenbrier CO / Virginia - Rt 60 (?)
    Dunmore's Camp (Wood Co) - Rt 2 - Waverly
    Huntington (Cabell Co) - Rt 60 (5th Ave) between 7th and 8th Street
    Lover's Leap (Morgan Co) - Rt 522 - north of Berkeley Springs - EDIT: PHOTOGRAPHED 27AUG2015
    Mason-Dixon Line (Preston Co) - Rt 26 NE of Bruceton Mills at the PA state line. (** Note: still missing as of July2014)
    #1
  2. vatrader01

    vatrader01 vatrader01

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    OK, If I have this right, file photo is OK? If so, here's this one I used for a WV tag.

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    Located on Smoke Hole Road, CR 2, about 2 miles from the intersection of CR 2 and 220.
    The riding through here is great. Low volume traffic, continuous elevation changes, increasing and decreasing radius turns, narrow and paved. Run this road from RT 55 to RT 220 for a ride that will stand out in your memory a while. Great scenery all through Smoke Hole Canyon.
    #2
  3. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    vatrader01,

    Excellent. Yes, file photos are OK - in fact, mine was taken a few weeks ago for the WV Tag-O-Rama also. As long as you took the photo, it's OK. I just didn't think it would be nice to have someone upload hundreds of photos they grabbed from other websites -- where's the fun in that?

    We're off to a great start. Only 698 to go. Thanks!!
    #3
  4. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Thanks to a great suggestion by gimmeslack, I have added a link back in the original post (#1) to 3 webpages I made with all of the known Markers in WV. :eek1 It's divided into 3 pages (A-H, J-O, and P-W), but I've added enough links to hopefully make navigating easy. As the markers are posted, I will try to note it on the list so you can easily see which ones are "unclaimed".

    Brush the snow off the bikes and let's see how many we can find before Spring. There's bound to be a few near you. Sure beats sitting around watching reruns on TV.

    EDIT - 15 JUNE 2009: Marker database is now on a Spreadsheet. Click link in my signature block or on Post #1 to view.
    #4
  5. Gimmeslack

    Gimmeslack furthur

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    Awesome! Great effort on your part :clap

    I've been snowed under with work and the short days don't help any.:cry
    #5
  6. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Here goes - I'm trying to use my web host (1and1) to host my photos. Let's see if it works.

    Stonewall Jackson Statue on the courthouse square in Clarksburg, at the corner of Main St and 3rd. When I was in Middle School and High School, I would sit on the wall in front of this statue waiting for my bus home. SJ was born across the street where a couple of dime stores stood in the 60s and 70s, before the mall closed everything down. :cry

    For a more detailed bio of Lt Gen Stonewall Jackson, click here.

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    The Historic Marker Sign.




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    Here's the statue. They cleaned and polished it up in the 70s, and for awhile it was bright copper or brass (I forget). Now it has returned to it's dull patina.



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    Here's a view of the area (standing in the middle of Main St during rush hour! :eek1
    #6
  7. Solace

    Solace Temporarily on IR

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    Neat idea. I thought of creating a tag game using only historical markers in Ohio but haven't gotten to it yet. Would be a slower-moving tag game, I suppose, but would be fun.

    I probably have a few WV historical markers in my photos - will look and get back to ya when I get a chance. I'm in Columbus but ride in WV a lot; I have some family in the southern part of the state.
    #7
  8. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Gimmeslack and Solace - Thanks! Please spread the word. :D
    #8
  9. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    Seat of my Ruckus
    #9
  10. HBN

    HBN lostwithmike.com

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    <table style="width: auto;"><tbody><tr><td>[​IMG]</td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right;">From WV Ninja Ride - 9.28.08</td></tr></tbody></table>
    <table style="width: auto;"><tbody><tr><td>[​IMG]</td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right;">From WV Ninja Ride - 9.28.08</td></tr></tbody></table>

    On 9/28/08, Goldfinch (from Ninja250.com), my Dad and I went on a ride from Harrisonburg down Rt. 42 to Goshen. [Ride Report] Here we met Goldfinch and continued on down Rt. 39 to Marlinton for lunch at the diner in town. We were one day late for the annual "Road Kill Coofoff":cry
    Along the way to Marlinton we rode past this anticline and agreed to stop for a picture on the way back. The bottom of the sign says "SPONSORED BY THE WEST VIRGINIA COMMITTEE OF THE NATURAL GAS AND OIL INDUSTRY" Shows who holds the $$$ around these parts.

    Also, never knew about Westylvania.
    #10
  11. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

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    Cool thread, here's my first submission.

    Location: WV 17, approximately 8 miles east of Logan between Ethel and Blair

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    Located in the heart of coal country, then and now. I ride this area at least one time a year with the wife and friends. They ride quads, it's also the heart of the Hatfield McCoy system. You can see that I am out numbered in this next photo.

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    A ride report can be found here.
    #11
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  12. vatrader01

    vatrader01 vatrader01

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    :thumb
    Cool post. :thumb
    #12
  13. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

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    Something of historical importance happened at each and every marker. Spend some time, do some homework and share the history in a short story.

    Just tagging a historical marker is an insult to those of us that truly value history. Who knows, I bet you may even learn something.

    Great start to what I hope is a fantastic, historically rich thread.:thumb
    #13
  14. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    I hope that everyone who participates realizes these are more than just photo sights. Many lives have been lost, and individuals sacrificed more than we can comprehend at many of these locations.

    The above marker represents an event that shaped the coal mining industry and labor laws in an astounding way ! I researched this event for months, and spent three days finding the associated landmarks. I stood in the trenches the company regulators used to shoot hard working, mistreated miners, and chills ran through me.

    Not trying to discourage finding the markers, but take the time to understand their meaning and signifiance to West Virginia.
    #14
  15. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

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    That is exactly why I stopped 4 months ago.
    #15
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  16. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    I agree that we should be realizing the significance of each site, which is why I wrote the following in the initial guidelines:

    3) Brush off your writing skills and give us a 50-100 word essay on what the site meant to you. Perhaps you visited here as a kid, or it had some sort of special meaning, or you can elaborate on the history of the site beyond the writing on the marker.

    I don't mean for each post to be a "Be all - End all" definitive history of the site, but rather a "seed" that will hopefully inspire those interested to dig deeper into our rich WV history and perhaps visit the site. A more detailed report is great if you have a deeper insight and knowledge of the site. Otherwise, a brief review at least makes others aware of a historical or geological site they otherwise may have never discovered.

    Those of you who didn't sleep through WV History class (like I unfortunately did) are welcome to add historical notes to posts of sites you have more knowledge of. Or, if you can add a link to a related website for more information, that would be nice.

    So far, so good. Thanks, everyone. Keep the photos and notes coming. :clap
    #16
  17. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Located on Rt 55/28 about 6 - 8 miles northeast of Seneca Rocks. Often ignored because of it's more famous neighbor, Champe Rocks is still impressive. It is part of the River Knobs, formerly known as East Seneca Ridge, that run north from Cherry Grove to near Seneca Rocks. They follow the North Fork South Branch Potomac River along Rt 55/33. The historical note on the sign tells of Sgt Champe, who was sent by George Washington to kidnap Benedict Arnold. Apparently, the plot failed.

    This is a beautiful stretch of highway from Seneca Rocks to Petersburg. Not too far north/east of here, Smoke Hole Road (CR 28-11) turns south off of Rt 55/28. There are no boring roads in this section of the state, whether you are talking riding, scenery, or history. (Come to think of it, there are very few boring roads anywhere in the state, but that's another story)





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    The Historical Marker




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    A view of Champe Rocks. from Rt 55/28. (I'd love to live here - what a view!)
    #17
  18. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Located along the eastern side of Rt 33/28 south of Seneca Rocks, between Judy Gap and Riverton. For a good history of the area from Wikipedia, click here. (Interesting reading, especially the Hellhole bat controversy at the end of the article) Rt 33 east from Judy Gap and over the North Fork Mt is a great ride :evil . Named for the Germans that settled here in the 18th Century. It's still predominately German ancestry around here. (My mother was an Alt)


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    The Historical Marker Sign



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    A view from the turn-off. :eek1
    #18
  19. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    (Maybe this will get the ball rolling on the WV Tag-O-Rama tag that I placed here 2 weeks ago :D The weather hasn't exactly been great, though: 20 degrees and snow)

    The Geographic Center of West Virginia, located 4 miles southeast of Sutton (Exit 62 off of I-79) Go across the big bridge in town, bear to the right, and follow CR 19-40 southeast about 4 miles to the intersection with CR 17 (turnoff to Centralia). You're there!

    The US Geological Survey has a cool site that lists geocenters, highest and lowest elevations, etc. Click here to read more. Basically, there are numerous methods of determining the geocenter, but the commonly accepted way is to imagine the area (WV in this case) balancing on a sharp point. Factors such as curvature of the earth and irregular surfaces (in WV???:eek1 ) can affect the calculation. The actual, gen-you-wine geocenter of WV is actually off the beaten path in the Elk River Wildlife Management Area very close to this sign. I heard the Park Ranger will show you where it's at. Unfortunately, I did not have time that day to make the side-trip, as I was already running late getting back to work. Maybe when it warms up out of the 20s, I'll ride back down and add that photo to this post.




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    Geographic Center Historic Sign.




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    The money shot. Sekalilagi (on the Ulysses) and I did a team tag. Not a real scenic spot. It's on kind of a busy intersection.
    #19
  20. sekalilagi

    sekalilagi Been here awhile

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    Old Stone House
    It is funny how ubiquitous these signs are and, by some, handily ignored. I park by this sign regularly and dine at a restaurant across the street. I used to go by it on my way to buy 'last minute' project parts from the (now gone) electronics store next door. And I'm almost certain in years past I've staggered past it as a less-than-sober undergrad. Yesterday, in balmy 26degree weather, I stopped and read it for the very first time.....

    When riding through the many small towns in WV, a common theme can often be seen in the buildings that make up each community. Today, the sight would be a church or two, a 'Dollar General', followed by a bar or two (you can tell by the drag strip burnmarks nearby). Bigger towns even get a post office, stop lights come much later. Curiously enough, in its two hundred odd years, this old stone house has been both church and bar. Around here, it seems though business come and go, people remember them by their former lives. (I work in the 'old Harley Store' in Fairmont)

    There's a quaint gift store in it these days, the kind that fits nicely in a historic old building. The store is staffed by volunteers from the the Service League of Morgantown, a local charitable organization.

    This marker can be found in the National Register of Historic Places in WV. Links to map with marker location and a general map with other markers.
    <small>39°37&#8242;49&#8243;N 79°57&#8242;26&#8243;W</small>


    My apologies for the crappy cell phone pics, I brought the 'real' camera but it froze.

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    #20