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Section 7: Historical Markers

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Types of Markers

Some of the different kinds of markers that can be found along the highways include:

  • official Texas Historical Commission subject markers—silver/black aluminum, 18" x 28" x 42" in height, usually mounted on aluminum posts (TxDOT erects the markers in highway rights of way and provides directional signage to them.)
  • pink granite centennial markers—41"-47" rear height, 24"-30" depth, 30"-36" width with bronze star-in-circle on front and plaque on top
  • gray granite centennial markers—tall with pointed top, engraved text on front, smaller bronze star and wreath on front
  • concrete state boundary markers—cast in shape of Texas on a limestone foundation
  • Blue Star Memorial markers—metal plaques, builder plaques
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Relocation of Historical Markers

Before relocating or removing any historical markers on our rights of way, TxDOT is required by federal and state law to notify the County Historical Commission chairperson and receive approval from the Texas Historical Commission. Ordinarily, marker relocations are approved as long as the marker remains in close vicinity to its original location. Marker removals are not usually approved unless the marker is in poor condition and damage cannot be repaired.

The following table describes the process for relocating or removing a marker:

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Stage

Action

1*

District contacts County Historical Commission chairperson in writing, providing:

  • information about plans
  • information about marker
  • map showing existing and proposed location
  • explanation of need for relocation/removal.
2

District forwards marker relocation/removal proposal to the district environmental coordinator or the Cultural Resources Section of ENV.

3

ENV obtains approval for marker relocation/removal from the Texas Historical Commission.

4

District relocates/removes marker.

*Note: The district environmental coordinator or the Cultural Resources Section of the Environmental Affairs Division (ENV) can assist with this effort.


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Guidelines for Maintaining Historical Markers

ENV recommends that all markers be inspected and cleaned, if necessary, once every 18 months. The Cultural Resources Section of ENV can help determine the most appropriate cleaning and repair methods for these markers.

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Cleaning Stone Markers

Most stone markers (granite, centennial markers, state boundary markers, picnic/rest area markers) in highway rights of way are in TxDOT ownership. Guidelines for cleaning older stone markers are available from ENV and district environmental coordinators.

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Repairs

If stone or concrete markers are damaged, repairs should be made if feasible. Repairs should be made "in kind," using original material types and elements that are similar in size and dimensions to the original marker.

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Replacement Parts

Districts are encouraged to replace bronze parts when they are missing from the pink or gray granite centennial markers. Bronze replacement parts can be ordered from the Texas Historical Commission. District environmental coordinators or ENV can provide the order forms.

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Aluminum Markers

The Texas Historical Commission officially owns the modern aluminum historical markers and is responsible for cleaning, repairing or providing a replacement marker in the event the marker is damaged or vandalized. The district should notify the Texas Historical Commission which will work with the local county historical commission to repair the marker or provide a replacement to the district for installation. If the marker is not repaired or replaced, the district should initiate action to remove the marker following the procedure outlined above.

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