NEWS UPDATE:  Pennsylvania Magazine features Keystone Markers!  Click here for more information!

A new era for the Keystone Markers has dawned, as towns across the Commonwealth have begun to re-install their beloved gateway guardians.  To order front-mount or top-mount markers for your town or favorite location, click here.  

This Marker Matters SignThis Marker Matters is a campaign started by the Keystone Marker Trust to raise awareness of the importance of our historic Pennsylvania Keystone Town Markers by the people that truly care about them. These three simple words hold within a great power to show others what a truly remarkable treasure we as Pennsylvanians have at our fingertips. These markers that have ushered in great times to each town, city and borough throughout our commonwealth now need you to help keep them alive. You can help in this great cause by simply downloading our "This Marker Matters"sign or creating your own and sharing with us a photo of yourself with a Keystone Marker that matters to you.

You might consider the KMT in your giving plans.  There are many great projects underway, but they can't happen without your support.  Additionally, funds are needed to:
  • create and install marker tags on Keystone Markers to protect them from theft and market the KMT
  • institute website enhancements, including a design-your-own marker page to allow marker purchasers to preview them
  • purchase tools and supplies incidental to repairing markers, including badly damaged ones
  • develop true-type fonts to streamline the laying out of new markers
  • funds to assist with marker restoration when a partner cannot be found

CLICK HERE for the press release about KMT's collaboration with Spring City Electrical enabling the new markers.

CLICK HERE for our marker ordering page.

Icons From a Proud Past, Gateways to a Bright Future

The Keystone Marker, with its ornate pole and brilliant blue and gold keystone, once graced the entrance to the vast majority of Pennsylvania's towns, villages, creeks, rivers, and trails. In the few places where they survive, they define and reflect a character that is purely local, but perfectly Pennsylvania.

Support the KMT's quest to recreate and repair the Markers!
Write a letter of support!
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Pennsylvania is famous for its unique town names. The Keystone Markers are a uniquely Pennsylvania and decidedly distinctive way to highlight these names as well as to provide just a little snippet of history to spark interest.

When a visitor arrives in a place graced by these markers, they know they are someplace special.  Essential elements in that all-important first impression for visitors and reminders of our own place in life, the Markers are exclamation points for our work to protect and enhance our world. We encourage all Pennsylvanians to use this site a resource to showcase their work to these ends.

The KMT is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax exempt organization with a mission to establish a program around the markers that (1) celebrates Pennsylvania's people and places, its heritage and its future, by restoring and re-introducing these proud symbols unique to our state; and (2) creates a network of Pennsylvania communities and organizations dedicated to positive development that is economically sound, environmentally responsible, and socially equitable. Entities dedicating themselves to the Keystone Marker Trust Principles will be able to apply for grant funding to replace and restore their Keystone Markers.

This website is a resource for:

Core elements in establishing pride-of-place, the markers are under-utilized tools in engaging young people with what it means to be a Pennsylvanian. Adopting a marker is a very visible, low-cost, high-return means for schools, historical societies, and local governments to teach not only local and state history, but also larger concepts of responsibility, volunteerism, and stewardship. By re-affirming the identity of "home," the markers encourage young people to appreciate their towns and special places and prepare them to re-invest in them in the multiple senses of that word later in life.

  The Keystone Marker Trust is proud to offer N. Clair Clawser's 2013 Keystone Marker Calendar.  Mr. Clawser has been a life-long historian and fan of the Markers and his traveled extensively around the Commonwealth photographing them.  Calendars are available now for the price of $15.00 and can be ordered directly from Mr. Clawser by calling 717-626-4796 or writing him at P.O. Box 113, Campbelltown, PA 17010-0113. 

Perfectly Pennsylvania, Uniquely Local

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Variations of the signs were used for multiple purposes. Photos by Fred Yenerall.

The Keystone Markers speak what it means to be from Pennsylvania.--everything from their color, shape and material to their text, placement, and history speak to who we were.  By restoring and replacing them, we make a confident statement about who we wish to be and inspire our young people about how where they are from can inform who they might become.  In displaying our pride of place, we establish a strong foundation for investment in all the ways Pennsylvania needs

A Need for Respectful Treatment and Accurate Replicas
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Recent treatmentsof the signs and poles make a less enthusiastic representation at best and, at worst, smack of a sad disinvestment in place. 

Part of the problem for groups looking to adopt, repair or replace their markers is that accurate replacement signs and poles are not available, nor are guidelines for appropriate marker treatment. We are developing the ability to create historically-accurate keystone signs (complete with the rear-bracing) and poles that meet PennDOT regulations. Additionally, we are working with PennDOT to develop guidelines about marker treatment. We are developing an educational tool kit and a "Adopt-a-Marker" program. Lastly, we hope to make available in the near future revolving loans for schools, historical societies, and municipalities to create or repair their markers.

Please note:  The markers associated with the Keystone Marker Trust are different than those sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, pictured here.  The PHMC's markers are different in shape, color, history, and purpose, and are used to denote historic events, people, and sites.  To find out more about the PHMC's historic marker program, click here.  The historical marker is a registered trademark of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the marker text is copyright protected.  Used with permission

Photo courtesy of the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance 
Pennsylvania, Keystone, Town Markers, Keystone Marker Trust, roadside markers historical, KMT  Pennsylvania history towns cast iron road markers PHMC historical historic highway sign roadside markers road sign Pennsylvania road highway street sign keystone blue and yellow town creek stream river borough trail wayfinding tourism

Here you can:
  1. Share stories and photos about:
    • special places they represent be they your town, river, creek, park, etc
    • your community development, historic preservation, and educational activities
    • your marker adoption activities
  2. Order historically-accurate poles, signs, and replacement parts
  3. Learn about Pennsylvania's Keystone Markers--their history, their varieties, and the places they represent including a listing of every keystone marker we know of and photos
  4. Help us update our list of markers
  5. Learn how to Adopt-a-Marker and download the Educational Program
  6. Apply for a Grant or Revolving Loan to Repair or Create Markers for Your Location

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© 2010 Keystone Marker Trust (unless otherwise indicated)