West Virginia Folklife Legends & Lore Roadside Marker Program
Applications due May 1 and October 2 every year
What is the Legends & LoreR Roadside Marker Grant Program?
The West Virginia Folklife Program works in partnership with The William G. Pomeroy Foundation to bring the Legends & Lore Roadside Marker Grant Program—a national initiative of the Pomeroy Foundation—to the state of West Virginia. The Legends & Lore marker program was created to help promote cultural tourism and commemorate legends and folklore as an important part of every community’s cultural heritage.
Selected applicants will receive an attractive, well-crafted metal road sign, resembling a historic marker, to commemorate a story, figure, or tradition important to their community’s cultural heritage.
The Pomeroy Foundation will cover the costs of manufacturing the marker, the pole, and shipping. Grant recipients will be responsible for the installation of the marker (and, if required by their local transportation department, for the cost of a breakaway pole).
What kind of folklore is commemorated in the program?
This program recognizes traditional customs and practices, tales and stories (whether based in historical fact or fiction), sayings, foodways, music, dance, and art or craft forms shared and passed on by a community.
Examples of folklore that might be recognized with a marker include:
- A local occurrence that has become an important story in your community – such as a strange or memorable event, a supernatural phenomenon, or a folkloric explanation of a natural feature in the landscape;
- A person in your community’s history or folklore about whom tales are told;
- An important tradition — such as a craft, a style of music, or a special festival — that is part of your community’s identity.
Note: Regarding tales and stories, the legend or lore can be historical, fictional, or somewhere in-between. What matters here is not whether a tradition is historically verifiable, but that it represents part of your community’s heritage.
There are many other possible examples. If the folklore you would like to commemorate doesn’t fit into one of these categories, it may still be a great candidate for a Legends & Lore roadside marker. If you have any questions about your submission’s suitability for the program, contact state folklorist Emily Hilliard at email@example.com.
Where have Legends & LoreR Roadside Markers been installed in West Virginia?
As of May 2020, markers have been installed in:
- Alderson, Greenbrier County, commemorating the Alderson Lion and Ada “Bricktop” Smith
- Blue Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County, commemorating the Blue Sulphur Springs Resort and Pavilion
- Matewan, Mingo County, commemorating Sid Hatfield
- Talcott, Summers County, commemorating John Henry
How do we apply for a Legends & LoreR roadside marker?
The Pomeroy Foundation awards Legends & LoreR marker grants to nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and nonprofit educational institutions. If you’re an individual, or part of a group that doesn’t fit in this category, you’re welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about potentially matching you with an eligible partner.
Applications are completed online (see instructions below).
To apply: Go to wgpfoundation.org, and click on “LEGENDS & LORE MARKER GRANT PROGRAM.” (Be sure to click on that link, rather than the “Become a Legends & Lore Partner” link that will also appear when you hover the cursor over it.)
On this page you can read about the Legends & Lore Roadside Marker Grant Program. When you’re ready to begin the application process, click where it says “To apply for a marker click here” at the end of the paragraph to the right of the Ichabod Crane marker.
On the grant interface login page, click “CREATE NEW ACCOUNT,” and fill out the organizational information form. You’ll create a login during this process, which you can use when you return to the grant interface login page: https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=pomeroy.
Log in. The Dashboard will be the first page you see.
Click “Apply,” at the top left, next to the home icon. Scroll down to the grant opportunity with the red marker that says “COMMEMORATING LEGENDS AND FOLKLORE NATIONWIDE.” At the top of this box, click the blue “Apply” button.
Now you’re in the Legends & Lore application. You can save your application and come back to it if you don’t complete it in one sitting. You can also click the “Question List” button to bring up a printable and downloadable version of the application, which you can refer to if you compose your answers to the application questions offline – in a Word or text document – for cutting and pasting into the online application (recommended). Remember that the downloadable Question List document is not the application itself; that must be completed online.
You’ll find instructions throughout the application for how to complete each section, what sort of additional documentation is required, etc. If, however, you have any questions or problems as you go along, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
For questions about the content of the application, including West Virginia-specific questions relating to the legend or lore you wish to commemorate, contact state folklorist Emily Hilliard at email@example.com or (304)346-8500. For questions about the application website, or about the national Legends & Lore Roadside Marker Grant Program, contact the Pomeroy Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 913-4060.
Legends & Lore is a registered trademark of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.