Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Historical Markers

These blue signs are visible all around Albany and the surrounding region. My research shows that they are, in fact, installed all over the state. They mark historical places and events.

Downtown Albany.

The first state historical marker program was begun by the state Department of Education in 1926 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Revolution. Just under three thousand of these signs were installed around the state during the thirteen year duration of the program.

I had never heard of Bender melons before.

A second program was started up in the sixties and larger, newer signs were installed at highway rest areas. I also think that some of the older-style signs were added here and there. You can see the dates on two of these signs indicating that they were installed in the 1970s.

This sign doesn't have the NYS symbol on it, so it may have been requested and paid for by the local group mentioned on the bottom.

There are so many of these signs around that they tend to blend into the background like a street sign or a lamp post. I never really stopped to read them until recent years. There are all sorts of interesting facts about people and places that I never knew, or that I had forgotten about, that these signs recall.

The Hamagrael sign was installed in 1976; I lived in the house directly across the street from it in 1977, but I have no recollection of the sign. I guess I had other things on my mind at the time.

9 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hey, if my memory serves, weren't the NY license plates the same colors as that top sign, back a few decades ago.... same blue, with that bright yellow? Do you remember?

    Walt, did you graduate from H.S. in '77? or '78?

    Judy

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  3. The local group that paid for their own sign is presumably the Tawasentha Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. (Apparently the Sons of the American Revolution have better things to do.)

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  4. So what are "Bender" melons?

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  5. Well, if anyone is interested, yes, those were the colors of the NY plates... but the background was the yellow, and the outlines were blue (I had them reversed in my head... I think that PA had the blue background with yellow outlines).

    NY plates

    But. wait! Those were in the 70s and 80s... in the '60s, they WERE blue with yellow outlines.

    Ummm... but, so were the Pennsylvania ones *R*R*.

    Judy

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  6. I like signs like this. I'm glad somebody has the drive to put such up.

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  7. judy, '77 was the big year for me. And I remember those license plates.

    john, that's what I was thinking.

    starman, I have no idea! I've never heard of them.

    michael, our tax dollars at work! And thankfully so.

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  8. I visited downtown Albany a few years ago and was impressed by the amount of beautiful, historic architecture. However I was disappointed that much of it was in disrepair. Boarded up doors and windows and dilapidated buildings are unexpected in a historical area.

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