What's Wrong With This Picture? - Sept. 10

September 09, 2012
  • Eldon Hawbaker submitted this photo of a historical marker that was replaced along U.S. 40.
Photo submitted by Eldon Hawbaker

A follow-up: In September 2011, The Herald-Mail printed an inquiry from Eldon Hawbaker of Hagerstown, who wrote that a historical marker along U.S. 40, about a mile west of Conococheague Creek, was rusty, difficult to read and in danger of falling down.

The marker bore the name “State Roads Commission,” the former name of the Maryland State Highway Administration.

At the time, SHA spokeswoman Kellie Boulware said SHA crews were told about it, and were figuring out how to refurbish or replace it.

“A temporary sign will be installed on the pole until work is complete, which should be before the end of the year,” Boulware wrote in an email at the time.

Who fixed it: the Maryland State Highway Administration

What they said: Hawbaker recently sent The Herald-Mail a photo of the new marker.

“It has been beautifully restored thanks to the article,” he wrote. “‘What’s Wrong with This Picture’ can effect some changes.”

Hawbaker gave “a very special thanks” for Sonny Bailey, a sign shop manager at the SHA’s Office of Traffic and Safety, for his help.

Heather Keels, an SHA district community liaison for Washington County, wrote in an email on Friday: “After being contacted by the paper, the State Highway Administration had the ‘The Bank Road’ historical marker on U.S. 40 cleaned and repainted. The restored sign was reinstalled in early spring.

“In addition, SHA has temporarily removed six other historical markers in Washington County for restoration. Five of them have been cleaned and painted, and will be reinstalled within the next few weeks. The sixth had been damaged and is undergoing some additional repair work. A seventh is scheduled to be removed for restoration soon.

“SHA is responsible for maintaining and repairing the historical markers as part of a partnership with the Maryland Historical Trust. The restoration includes sandblasting to remove rust, priming and repainting the signs, and their raised letters. The painting is done by inmates in the Maryland Correctional Enterprises program. Temporary signs are placed while the markers are being restored.”

— Compiled by Andrew Schotz

If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:

What’s Wrong With This Picture
c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom
100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown MD 21740

You can email the information to Please include a phone number where we can reach you.

Editor’s note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation. We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes, or consumer problems.

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