Historic Marker Program
Through the Historic Marker Program, the Concord Historical Commission encourages property owners to share information on the historical and architectural significance of their properties and will assist in the process. The Commission's goal is two-fold: to stimulate interest in and appreciation of our diverse history through architecture, and to recognize in a public manner the historical and architectural heritage of Concord.
To participate in the program and obtain a marker for a home or other structure, property owners (applicants) are asked to ensure that the structure meets two or more of the criteria outlined below:
- Age: The home or other structure is at least 75 years old.
- Historic Event: The structure or site is associated with a particular event that has contributed to our understanding of local, regional, or national history. A marker meeting this criterion might read, for example, "Site of 1775 Revolutionary War Skirmish between Colonial and British Militias."
- Person(s): The structure or site is associated with the life or lives of an individual, a family, or a group who has made a notable contribution to local, regional, or national history, culture, or arts, even if the names of those persons are no longer known. In the instance of unknown names of an individual or individuals, it is the contribution or connection to history that is being noted. A marker meeting this criterion might read, for example, "1725, Home of the Earliest Known Enslaved Person in the Town of Concord."
- Period/Style: The structure embodies distinctive characteristics of clear, classifiable periods of architecture or styles of construction. This criterion applies to the work of noted architects or builders as well as to simpler vernacular styles.
- Cultural Landscape/Archeology: The site of the structure named in the application has yielded, or is likely to yield, information important to the understanding of our local prehistory or history of record. Such a marker might read, for example, "1758, Site of the Oldest Known Iron Foundry in the Town of Concord" or "1625, Site of an Early Algonquin Settlement."
In researching their properties, applicants are advised to consult the following sources, which are available at the Main Branch of the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street (Special Collections holds the majority of the following resources, while the Reference Desk holds some.)
- MACRIS, the on-line Survey of Historical and Archeological Resources in Massachusetts. Paper copies are also available in the Library, organized alphabetically and numerically by street name and number
- Historic Resources Master plan of Concord, Massachusetts (1995, updated 2001)
- Highlights of Concord's Historic Resources (1995)
In addition to the above, the following materials are also held in the Concord Free Public Library, Main Branch, Special Collections. Please notify staff in advance of a research visit:
- Forbes, Anne, Narrative Histories of Concord and West Concord (1992, rev. 1995)
- Jarvis, Edward, Houses and People in Concord, 1810-1820 (1882)
- Keyes, John Shepard, (annotated by Tolman, Adams), Houses in Concord in 1885, 3 volumes (1940; collated by Marian B. Miller)
- Maps File, with links
- Photographic Archive
Additional copies of certain resources are held at the Department of Planning and Land Management, 141 Keyes Road. Please call the office at 978-318-3290 prior to a research visit.
Applications are available at the Department of Planning and Land Management, view the Historic Marker Program Application (PDF). The Historical Commission requests photocopies of all relevant documents from these or other resources consulted by property owners in developing their application. Text that substantiates an owner's claim of date or resident's name(s) and contributions to the community should be highlighted in these supporting documents. Additionally, attributed research and references should be combined into a brief summary of significance and included in the application.
Please submit your completed application and supporting documentation to:
Concord Historical Commission
c/o Department of Planning and Land Management
141 Keyes Road
Concord, MA 01742
The Historical Commission reviews complete applications upon receipt, and discusses each application as early as possible at a regularly scheduled monthly meeting. It should be noted that the Concord Historical Commission must approve the exact wording to be used on a marker in addition to approving the application itself; we will provide altered wording if additional research suggests.
Please note that there are distinct marker designs for Concord Center and beyond (the Old North Bridge motif) and for West Concord (the West Concord Depot motif). Also, due to the constraints of the marker design and size, 2 lines of text, including the year or date range of construction, are typically allowed.
Upon Historical Commission approval of the marker application and separate approval of the wording to be used, the property owner will be notified and asked to contact the sign maker directly to arrange for the order, scheduling, and payment. (The Historical Commission will contact the sign maker independently to confirm approval and wording.) Payment ($225) should be made to the sign maker; for an additional small fee mutually agreed upon by the owner and sign maker, the sign maker may be available to mount the marker to the structure's facade.
If your home is located within a Concord Historic District, please be aware that the Historic Districts Commission has pre-approved property owners' participation in the Historic Marker Program providing that owners engage in the application and review process as outlined here.
Thank you for participating in the Concord Historical Commission's Historic Marker Program.