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Historical Marker Program

Since 1949, the Kentucky Historical Marker program has allowed communities across Kentucky to recognize and share the sites, events and personalities they consider to be important to local, regional, state or national history. To date, more than 2,400 markers help to illuminate Kentucky’s complex story.

Those interested in applying to the historical marker program must first submit a letter of interest via email to Mandy Higgins, Community Engagement Administrator, at mandy.higgins@ky.gov.  

Letters of interest must be received by February 15 for applications to be considered in the 2022 program cycle.  Letters of interest should include the interested parties’ contact information, a summary of the proposed topic, and county location of the proposed marker.  Letters of interest received after February 15 will be considered for the following year’s cycle.

KHS will invite the individual or organization to complete a formal application if the proposed topic fits the parameters of the program.* KHS staff are available throughout the process for application support and technical assistance.

To explore the current Historical Marker Database, click here.

Download our app Explore Kentucky History to find the locations of historical markers across the Commonwealth and enjoy tours and additional history content right from your smartphone or on your home PC at explorekyhistory.ky.gov.

*Guidelines for the Kentucky Historical Marker Program 

Marker applications are reviewed once per year.  Acceptance of an application is based on the proposed marker’s subject, which must accurately present verifiable historical information.  The Kentucky Historical Society is responsible for verifying the accuracy of each marker’s text and accompanying documentation.  Supporting documentation should be based on reliable, original sources whenever possible.  KHS is responsible for certifying the validity of each source and does not accept applications without documentation.

KHS does not approve markers for:

  • A living person or person who died less than 15 years ago.  However, applications for individuals whose historical contributions were made more than 30 years ago will be considered.
  • Purely genealogical or family subjects
  • An individual or business if the primary value of the marker is to provide financial benefit to or advertising for that person or business
  • A cemetery, unless someone significant and well-known to Kentucky history is buried there, or unless a historically significant event relates to it 
  • A church, unless it is connected to a significant historical event or person that is meaningful to Kentucky’s overall history. 

Markers commemorating the history of physical structures should emphasize significance to Kentucky history rather than the site’s architectural features. 

Physical locations of each marker cannot create traffic hazards and must be acceptable to the property owner or the governmental agency having jurisdiction.  Markers must be placed in locations easily accessible to the public. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet retains the final decision for marker placement on public highways.

HELP US MAINTAIN THE HISTORICAL MARKERS

Report a damaged or missing marker.

Send questions to Mandy Higgins, Community Engagement Administrator, or call 5027828064