Criteria for Historical Marker Topic and Location | Wisconsin Historical Society

Guide or Instruction

Criteria for a Historical Marker Topic and Location

A potential Wisconsin Historical Marker must meet the criteria for the marker topic and where it will be located.

Criteria for a Considering a Historical Marker Topic

The Society will consider applications for state and local sites if the applications meet any one of the following criteria.

Events
Associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of history.
People
Associated with the lives of persons no longer living whom have made significant contributions to the broad patterns of history and culture.
Art and Architecture
Embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, style, period or method of construction or architecture, or representative of the work of a master, or that possess high artistic value.
Prehistory and Archaeology
Yields, or likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.
Ethnic Groups
Associated with ethnic groups who have made distinctive and significant contribution to history.
State History
Embodies the characteristics of the State representing significant aspects of the physical or natural history of the earth and its life.
Legends
Representative of popular stories or myths that, although not verifiable, are significant to history and culture.

Criteria for a Selecting a Historical Marker Location

The Society has the final approval of marker location. The marker installation is the responsibility of the applicant. Markers are shipped directly from the manufacturer to the applicant.

  • The site selected for the marker must be visible from a public right-of-way and be publically accessible.
  • Markers placed within a public right-of-way must get written approval from the appropriate transportation official or governing body that has jurisdiction over that public right-of-way.
  • If the marker is to be placed on private property, an easement that permits public access for as long as the marker stands must be included as part of the marker application.
  • The owner(s) of the site must provide written permission for the marker to be located on their property. Written permission also must allow access for ongoing maintenance of the marker.
  • Only sites approved by the Society may be marked with State Historical Markers. Sites already marked with a State Historical Marker are not eligible for a second marker. No person may erect or use a marker that is identical to or misleadingly resembles the marker developed by the Society.

Relocating a Historical Marker

The relocation of any state historical marker requires pre-approval of the Society.  Contact the field services representative for the region in which the historical marker will reside to start the relocation process.

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