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Celebrate Canal History in Your Community!

Sep 7, 2022

From towpaths to tugboats, what history does the canal in your community have to tell?

Often considered a precursor to interstate highways, transportation canals helped facilitate the movement of goods and people from east to west. This spurred development of towns and villages along the way, leading to the overall expansion of the nation. The Historic Transportation Canals Marker Grant Program commemorates the history of these important transportation canals in the United States.


Canal marker grants are available to 501(c)(3) organizations, nonprofit academic institutions, and local, state and federal government entities within the United States. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact an eligible local organization, such as a municipal historian or historical organization. They will often apply for the grant on behalf of the individual.

Canal markers must be installed near an existing or former canal site and recognize a historical fact that occurred more than 50 years from the year of your application. Currently, that year is 1972. Applications that don’t fall within this time-frame will be not be considered.

Marker Design and Text Guidelines 

The colors of the canal markers are blue with black highlighted lettering and border. There are two unique logos for you to choose from that will allow the markers to be immediately recognizable as commemorating a historic canal. Markers are 18” x 32” cast aluminum with a 7’ aluminum pole. 

The title line allows 15 characters and the five body lines can have 27 characters each, including spaces and punctuation. There is a required credit line at the bottom of the marker which is always included.  

Historical Accuracy 

Primary source documentation is required to verify historical accuracy. The applying agency is responsible for supplying photocopies, scans or photos of the sources and specific statements used to verify historical facts. If selected, the strength of the supporting materials substantially lessens the time between acceptance and funding. If the Pomeroy Foundation cannot substantiate the historical accuracy of the proposed marker text based on the supporting documentation provided, the opportunity for approval is limited. 

Application Deadline

2022 Important Dates

  • 04/06/22 – Letter of Intent (LOI) becomes available online
  • 05/04/22 – Deadline to submit LOI
  • 06/09/22 – Application deadline
  • August 2022 – Grants awarded
  • 09/07/22 – Letter of Intent (LOI) becomes available online
  • 10/05/22 – Deadline to submit LOI
  • 11/09/22 – Application deadline
  • February 2023 – Grants awarded

Grant Application Procedure 

Letter of Intent 

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is an online form that must be completed to demonstrate your interest in applying for a marker. A completed LOI is required prior to submitting your application. Each LOI includes information such as proposed marker text and a list of primary sources. To submit your LOI, you must log in to your account and click apply at the top of the page which will bring you to the available applications. Click the blue apply button at the top right corner of the canal marker description; that will bring you directly to the LOI page. Once the LOI is reviewed and approved, you will receive a notification by email that allows you to begin the application stage.



Applications are only accepted online. To create an account and apply, please use this link:  Apply for Grant


Applications must include the following:

  • the applying agency’s information
  • contact information for the person responsible for the application
  • proposed installation location in specific detail (including GPS coordinates)
  • a brief description and historical significance of the transportation canal being commemorated
  • proposed inscription for marker


Additional required documents are:

  • a letter from the landowner granting permission for the marker to be installed
  • copies of the primary source documents supporting all the proposed text on the marker

Grants for the Historic Transportation Canals program cover the entire cost of a marker, pole, and shipping. There is no cost to you. If your application is approved, upon receipt of your signed Acceptance Letter, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation will mail a check for the total amount made payable to the applying agency. Instructions for ordering your marker will accompany the check. The grant recipient is responsible for installation of the marker.

Marker Placement

Please carefully consider the location where the marker is to be installed.

  • Markers should not be placed on high-traffic roadways or roadways where vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed if there is no place for a vehicle to safely pull over out of traffic.
  • Markers should not be placed where the visitor must intrude on private property to read it.
  • Markers should not be placed where existing signage contains the same information requested for the marker text.


Contact Christy at or 315-913-4060, Monday – Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm (EST).