Are you the type to stop and look at roadside markers, curious as to what quirk the community you’re passing through has to offer? Sometimes I even discover new historical landmark signs while I am out for a walk/jog — because there are so many. In East Dallas you might stumble upon the Juliette Abbey Peak Fowler marker, Dallas Hall on the SMU campus or the one marking the onetime Little Egypt school, now Lake Highlands Elementary. Since relocating to Oak Cliff, I have passed the J.D. Tippit historical marker, the Bilbo Jitney Line marker, La Reunion and many more.
In the same vein, but on a nationwide level, the New York-based William G. Pomeroy Foundation has a roadside marker program called Legends & Lore, which partners with local folklore societies and offers communities a chance to commemorate their local legends and promote cultural tourism. Think voodoo queen Marie Laveau’s tomb in New Orleans or West Virginia’s commemoration of the invention of the Pepperoni Roll or, in New York, one marking the burial site of a local hunter called Natty Bumppo.
So, the Pomeroy Foundation just struck up a partnership with the Texas Folklore Society to do their Legends and Lore signage in Texas. That means if you’re a storyteller, history lover or someone who loves local lore and mythology, you could help share our neighborhood’s stories and traditions. How fun would that be?
“The Texas Folklore Society is thrilled to partner with the Pomeroy Foundation on this program,” says Kristina Downs, secretary/editor and executive director of the Texas Folklore Society. “As a large and diverse state, Texas has an especially rich and varied folk culture. The Legends & Lore program will enable local communities to celebrate and showcase their traditions.”
Since 2005, the New York-based Foundation has awarded over 1,700 grants for markers and bronze plaques in 45 states.
“We are delighted to welcome the Texas Folklore Society among the Pomeroy Foundation’s incredible Legends & Lore partners in a growing number of states,” says Deryn Pomeroy, trustee and director of strategic initiatives at the Pomeroy Foundation. “This is an exciting opportunity to highlight the Lone Star State’s folklore and legends with roadside markers. We look forward to working with the Society to further recognize and put the spotlight on the diverse landscape of folk and traditional arts in Texas.”
More than 140 Legends & Lore marker grants have been awarded by the Pomeroy Foundation since the program’s inception. In addition to Texas, Legends & Lore grants are currently available in the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and West Virginia. Prospective applicants must apply through a local 501(c)(3) organization such as a historical society, nonprofit academic institution, or a local, state, or federal government entity.
The current Legends & Lore grant application deadline is fast approaching — Monday, May 2.
Legends & Lore grant funding includes the full cost of a marker, pole, and shipping. To review program guidelines and details about how to apply online, visit the Foundation’s website.
A second Legends & Lore grant round in 2022 will open on Monday, Aug. 29. The deadline to submit a marker grant application during that round will be Monday, Oct. 17.