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Local Pennsylvania Communities Preserving Historic Signs

Decades ago, Pennsylvania had a unique way of marking towns and other geographical features on its highways. Cast iron signs which featured the town name and a historical anecdote about the town were found throughout the Commonwealth. Fortunately, many of these 'Keystone Town Markers' still exist today.

Some though are not in the best of condition - and in some areas local civic groups are doing their best to restore them.

One such group is the Pine Creek Preservation Association in Lycoming County. Recently, Jim Carn of the PCPA repainted and restored a handful of Keystones in the Pine Creek Valley.

All photos were taken by Jim Carn (unless otherwise noted).

Ramsey Run:

Here's the original (from David Slauenwhite)- you can see that the 'Ramsey Run' was hand painted - most likely many years ago.

Here is the 'restored sign' by Mr. Carn. Fresh colors and bold letters makes a big difference.


Roaring Branch:

Here's the original (from David Slauenwhite) - The paint is beginning to fade away.

The restored sign:

Waterville:

Original sign (taken by David Brunot):

The restored sign taken by Mr. Carn.

Not only are local community groups trying to preserve these historic signs, Nathaniel Guest and Preservation Pennsylvania are trying to bring back the Keystone Town Markers. Guest is working on a project to source the manufacture and funding for 'new' town markers for municipalities whose signs have been long forgotten.

In the recent Preservation Pennsylvania newsletter, Guest's quest to return these signs in the commonwealth was featured.

Both the PCPA and Nathaniel Guest are doing great work to preserve the uniqueness of Pennsylvania towns and transportation histories! And who knows maybe these old Keystones will not be a forgotten piece of Pennsylvania highways in the years to come!

To see more Pennsylvania Keystone Town Markers - Visit my Keystone Town Markers Project.

Comments

Steve said…
I've found quite a few more in my various travels across the state. Many have no paint left and are rusted solid. Also, many are on side roads that have long since been bypassed. Not only do I support restoring them, but for a minimal amount of money I support moving them to today's thoroughfares wherever possible.

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