When Americans took to the road in force in their automobiles, many states joined entrepreneurs to devise ways to attract motorists off the highway, explore the area and infuse local economies with some cash. In 1935, New Mexico became one of several states to promote tourism by putting up its signature large, wooden, rustic brown signs to tell some of the stories that continue to draw travelers to the Land of Enchantment.
Official Scenic Historic Markers designate historic districts and sites. They mark locations significant to the social, economic, political, scientific, architectural and artistic history of New Mexico, the Southwest and the nation. Marker subjects range from Native American leaders to Spanish conquerors to outlaws. Women important in New Mexico's history recently were honored in the program. Battlegrounds, landscapes, town sites and ghost towns all have been commemorated on historic markers.
Historic Markers designate historic districts and sites, and mark locations significant to the social, economic, political, scientific, architectural and artistic history of New Mexico
To get an idea of who and what has been recognized on the markers and where they are located, please visit the New Mexico Historic Marker website.
Any person, organization, government agency or corporation can submit proposals for markers. Application guidelines are available on this site.
Some subjects are not appropriate for marker designation under selection criteria established in the New Mexico State Statutes. Texts for proposed markers generally should not exceed 65 words and include a proposed location. Staff reviews nominations and the Cultural Properties Review Committee makes a final decision on the wording at its bi-monthly meetings.
From there, the New Mexico Department of Transportation constructs the signs and decides a final location based on the availability of space to build pull-outs. NMDOT also installs the signs once they are completed.
To submit an application, please use the downloadable form and return it by e-mail or postal mail.