Historic Markers Across
Tennessee - Definitions

A historical marker is a plaque or sign erected at historically significant locations, facilities, or buildings. These markers are usually near roads or in parks. Many different administrative systems exist for the purpose of creating and maintaining historical markers. In addition to the National Register of Historic Places (which may or may not have markers at each property), many states have their own distinctive set of historical markers. Cities and/or counties may also choose to have their own system of recognizing and acknowledging historical places. In addition to these geographically defined regions, individual organizations, such as E Clampus Vitus or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, can choose to maintain a national set of historic markers that fit a certain theme. [1] This web site primarily lists the free standing style of historic marker, but it does include some mounted markers. It also includd many of the Blue Star markers. The intent of this site is to provide an overview of Tennessee´s history as recorded on the many historic markers throughout the state. Currently the site lists 4,384 markers.


Free Standing

This is what we typically think of when we hear the term "historic marker." The Tennessee Historic markers are made of metal (usually brass or aluminum) that have raised lettering (rather than an inscription painted on a sign), and are mounted on a freestanding post. Most books and web sites dedicated to Tennessee's Historic Markers typically only include free standing historic markers.[2]


Historic markers that are attached to a rock, a building, a concrete base or some other type of structure are often referred to as plaques. Mounted Tennessee Historic markers are made of metal (usually brass or aluminum) that have raised lettering (rather than an inscription painted on a sign, and are fixed to a structure.

Carved Stone

These are stone marker have had text engraved on them.

Interpretative Marker / Sign

These are painted or screen-printed rather than cast in metal on a weather resistant backing. Many times these markers include maps and or drawings. This is the style typically seen at National Parks.

Commemorative Markers

This is a sub-set of Historic Markers. These markers may be placed at the entrance to a park and typically lists the individual(s) that were significant in the creation of a park, monument, restoration of a building or other event. Also included in this sub-set would be the Blue Star Markers [3] (normally free-standing) and plaques designating a location as being in the National Register of Historic Places (normally mounted).

Free Standing
Tennessee Historical Commission Marker: 3A 9 - James Chamberlain Jones
(Wilson County) Photo by: vhasler
Tennessee Historical Commission Marker: 2A 71 - “Chief Jack” Walker
(Bradley County)
Tennessee Historical Commission Marker: 2A 44 - Red Clay Council Grounds
(Bradley County)
The Commercial Appeal and The Shelby County Historical Commission Marker:
The Commercial Appeal (Shelby County) Photo by: krsmith2
Tennessee Historical Commission Marker: 4A 17 - Carroll/Gibson Counties (2 sided)
( Carroll/Gibson county line) Photo by: Titansfan
The Old Exchange The Old Exchange - mounted on a building.
H.M.S. Seraph - mounted on a concrete base.
TH.M.S. Seraph
Works Progress Administration (WPA) - mounted on a rock.
New Hope Battlefield
Commemorative Markers
Mounted on the Railroad Station in Stone Mountain Georgia.
Commemorates the restoration of the remodeling and conversion from a railway station to City Hall.
Mounted on a building.
Columbus Historic Riverfront District
Interpretative Marker / Sign
Battle of Knob's Farm - June 22, 1864
Sign including a map and pictures.
Oak Grove Park
Sign including a map and pictures.


  1. Wikipedia - Historical marker    [Online] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_marker
  2. Carl Vinson Institute of Government - Georgia Historical Markers - Introduction    [Online] http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/gahistmarkers/gamarkersintro.htm
  3. The Blue Star Memorial Marker Program    [Online] http://www.gardenclub.org/projects/ongoing-projects/blue-star-memorials.aspx