Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Keystone Markers

Jesse Halsey
For some twenty years the state of Pennsylvania has been erecting cast-iron signs at the entrance of villages and cities along its main highways. Two thousand or more have been set up and they furnish the leisurely motorist reliable geographic and historical information. One must drive slowly to read them in entirety; very slowly for they are not large and were first projected when cars went at much less speed.

For twenty years the write and his family has crossed and re-crossed Pennsylvania Drive from the Middle West to the East and the children have made these signs their landmarks of profess to and fro. A considerable amount of local history has accumulated and a notebook entry from time-to-time yields in the aggregate a considerable result. These have been lately checked in the State Office Building where the Commissioner of Highways has a typewritten record of the signs. Some of the information contained in that loose-leaf book in Harrisburg ought to find more permanent form and binding.

It is doubtful if the system is further expanded. Col of the Historical Society, who furnished much of the historical data, is dead. He was its main promoter. Some highway officials think that the signs distract drivers’ attention from the road (they do, naturally, and should) and so are a traffic hazard.

Some of these signs, not many, are inane, conveying the obvious, but apparently because one town had a sign the next must. For example, “Gap,” named for a gap in the hills.
History of the Keystone Markers

*** Keystone Markers "were originally erected by the Dept. of Highways, PennDOT's predecessor, in the 1920s and 30s at entrances to the vast majority of Pennsylvania's towns and villages and include a few facts, such as the date the community was founded and the derivation of its name.  Many creeks, rivers, and trails were also marked."

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