The Richmond Register

January 6, 2014

County’s historical markers getting facelift

Special to the Register

RICHMOND — You have seen them along the highways and byways all across Kentucky, those green and gold signs marking historical sites.

The markers bind the state together, they maintain connections to its past.

Madison County has about two dozen of these markers scattered across the county. And some of them aren’t in too good of shape, said Phillip Seyfrit, Madison County’s Historic Properties Director.

In late 2013, the county historic properties department conducted an inventory of the markers, their condition and investigated ways of improving their appearance or replacing them.

“One day I stood in front of the Madison County Courthouse and the marker highlighting Madison County’s formation was so tarnished you couldn’t even read it from three feet away,” Seyfrit said “We can do better than this.”

Contacting the Kentucky Historical Society, which administers the historical marker program, Madison County and different entities were able to take advantage of a grant which would provide funds for refurbishing/replacement of dilapidated markers.

The inventory revealed that many marker were in poor shape.

After contacting several historic/preservation groups within the county, many stepped forward and committed much needed funds to this project.

Four of the six markers highlighting the Battle of Richmond were refurbished by the Madison County Civil War Roundtable and the Battle of Richmond Association, which pooled their resources. These signs are posted along Battlefield Memorial Highway (US 421) from Mt. Zion Church to Big Hill.

The signs at Fort Boonesborough also were in bad shape, with two missing completely, Seyfrit said. A funding partnership between the Boonesborough Foundation, the Society of Boonesborough and Richmond Tourism will refurbish three existing signs at the popular state park, and replace two that have been lost or destroyed.

Boonesborough Park Superintendent Rob Minerich is working with Seyfrit to locate better, more accessible areas for these markers. A public ceremony for their placement is planned for the spring of 2014.

Markers for two of Madison County’s most famous sons, Cassius Clay and Christopher “Kit” Carson, also were in poor condition, Seyfrit said.

The White Hall-Clermont Foundation is refurbishing a marker located at the intersection of US 25 and White Hall Shrine Road north of Richmond, which highlights Clay and his unique home.

Richmond Lodge No. 25, Free & Accepted Masons, took on the task of re-furbishing Christopher “Kit” Carson’s marker at the intersection of Tates Creek Road and Goggins Lane. Carson’s birthplace is nearby. Carson was an active Freemason later in his life in New Mexico.

Funding for the refurbishing of the marker at the Madison County Courthouse was provided by the Madison Fiscal Court.

“All of the markers will have a new finish which will greatly extend their life. If they don’t get physically damaged, they should last well over 25 years before anything needs to be done again,” Seyfrit said.

All the markers should be finished and re-erected by the spring of 2014, he said.

There are several more markers needing help. If an individual or civic group wants to sponsor a marker, please contact the Madison County Dept. of Historic Properties at 624-0013. Deadline for this project is Feb. 15.

Seyfrit added, “I applaud the groups and individuals who have come together to correct a problem that reflects on all of Madison County. Everyone in Madison County should be proud of our common heritage.”