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Historical roadside marker near Blairs Valley and Hunter roads in Pa. missing

June 10, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • This sign turned up missing from its spot at the intersection of Blairs Valley and Hunter Roads sometime in the past two weeks.
Submitted Photo

There are more than 2,300 roadside historical markers in the database of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

But about 200 of them are listed as missing, including one that disappeared recently in Montgomery Township.

The "Burning of Chambersburg" sign turned up missing from its spot at the intersection of Blairs Valley and Hunter Roads sometime in the past two weeks, said Karen Galle, coordinator of the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission's Historic Marker Program.

The marker is not something easily removed, considering both the sign and the post it was on are missing, Galle said. The blue sign with yellow lettering measures about 4-by-4 feet and weighs about 70 pounds, she said.

Along with the post, the entire assembly would weigh in excess of 100 pounds and be about 10 feet long, Galle said.

"It's unwieldy," Galle said.

They also cost more than $1,800 to make and install, she said.

Dan Guzy of Mercersburg said he noticed the marker missing on June 3. He had been involved in the effort to get the marker moved to that location in August 2010.

"It was in the wrong place since 1947," Guzy said.

It had been on Pa. 416 near the Maryland line, but that did not accurately reflect the main route Confederate Gen. John McCausland took in July 1864 on the raid that resulted in the burning of Chambersburg, Pa.

Guzy said he saw no indications that the marker had been struck by a vehicle, such as broken glass or other vehicle debris.

"We are unable to do that," Galle said when asked if the state will replace the marker.

The grant program that helped sponsoring individuals and organizations pay for the signs has been cut, she said.

"We used to be able to periodically replace a few of them," Galle said.

There is an annual approval and nomination process for the markers, Galle said. Proposed markers have to meet certain criteria and are reviewed by a panel, she said.

Galle said she contacted the township and a commission contractor, and neither had knowledge of what happened to the sign. She said she hopes someone finds it and contacts authorities.

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