Gov. Joe Manchin III presented the Archives and History section of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History with an $80,000 grant to provide funding to restore, refurbish, repaint and/or replace damaged or missing highway historical markers throughout West Virginia on Tuesday, Aug. 11, during a ceremony held in the Great Hall of the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The grant was funded through the Transportation Enhancement Program of the Federal Highways Administration and is administered by the West Virginia Division of Highways.
The $80,000 award marks the third phase of a project to replace and repair approximately 300 highway historical markers in the Mountain State. Previous grants, also funded by the Transportation Enhancement program, provided for the creation of a marker inventory and database and the publication of a guidebook entitled Marking our Past: West Virginia’s Historical Highway Markers. The database can be accessed at the Division’s Web site at http://www.wvculture.org/history/markers.html. The highway marker guidebook can be purchased through Archives and History by calling (304) 558-0230, or bought at the Division’s on-line store at www.wvculture.org.
The West Virginia Highway Historical Marker Program began in 1937 as part of the New Deal plan to encourage tourism during the Great Depression. The West Virginia Commission on Historic and Scenic Markers worked with the State Road Commission, Works Progress Administration and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration to place 440 markers during the first year. 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. In the late 1960s, the program was given to Archives and History to manage.
For more information, contact Joe Geiger, director of archives and history, at (304) 558-0230, ext. 165.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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