Gainesville Volunteers, Gainesville, MS

Gainesville Volunteers Historical Marker, Gainesville, MS

Located on the Louisiana and Mississippi border is the town of Gainesville, located in Hancock County. In the past, the town was an active port on the Pearl River, but declined during the 1800s. Later in 1962, the land was acquired by NASA and is now home to the Stennis Space Center.

The Gainesville Volunteers served the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It was organized in 1860 and served at Vicksburg and Atlanta. It made up the Company G of the Third Mississippi Infantry.

Historical Marker Inscription


In 1860, John Deason, a Mexican War veteran, organized a militia company here. The “Gainesville Volunteers” entered Confederate service in 1861 as Co. G of the Third Mississippi Infantry. During the Civil War, the unit served in the Gulf Coast region and fought in the Vicksburg, Atlanta, Middle Tennessee, and Carolina campaigns.


Mississippi Welcome Center, Interstate 10, Mile Marker 2, Gainesville, MS – Border of Louisiana and Mississippi

30° 18.789′ N, 89° 36.002′ W

L’Ouverture Hospital Historical Marker, Alexandria, VA

L'Ouverture Hospital Historical Marker, Alexandria, VA

Named after Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803), the slave leader of the Haitian Revolt, the hospital was completed in 1864. On land formerly owned by slave dealers in Alexandria prior to the Union Army taking control of the area in 1861, the hospital served U.S. Colored Troops. It also treated former enslaved African Americans.

The hospital treated more than 1,400 soldiers from 1864 to 1865. The complex consisted of a cook house, mess hall, dispensary, tents, housing and jail.

A successful protest in 1864 resulted in African American soldiers being interred in Alexandria National Cemetery as opposed to the Contrabands or Freedmen Cemetery.

Historical Marker Inscription

Named for Toussaint L’Ouverture, the Haitian revolutionary, L’Ouverture Hospital opened early in 1864 near the Freedmen’s barracks in Alexandria to serve sick and injured United States Colored Troops (USCT). Designed by the U.S. Army, the hospital complex could accommodate about 700 patients and occupied the city block just south of here. The hospital also served African American civilians, many of whom had escaped from slavery and sought refuge in Alexandria. In Dec. 1864, more than 400 patients led a successful protest demanding that USCTs be buried in Alexandria National Cemetery, with full honors, rather than at the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery.


1302 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

38° 48.284′ N, 77° 3.245′ W

Oregon Trail Ruts, Guernsey, Wyoming

Oregon Trail Ruts, WY

The Oregon Trail Ruts are actual, highly visible ruts carved by the hundreds of thousands of travelers along the Oregon Trail. These ruts were left by the iron wagon wheel tires as well as cuts made by the emigrants who were moving westbound from 1841 to 1869 to ease the grade.

The first person to officially use the route was Robert Stuart and six companions in 1812. Over the years, many others also used the path, including trappers and traders.

The Bartleson-Bidwell party was the first wagon train of settlers to use the route in 1841. The goal of many of the more than 300,000 emigrants was to reach Oregon or California.

The road was used consistently until 1869 when the Union Pacific Railroad was completed.

Oregon Trail Ruts, WY

Historical Marker Inscription

Oregon Trail Ruts, Wyoming Historical Markers

Oregon Trail Ruts

Registered National Historic Landmark

Wagon wheels cut solid rock, carving a memorial to Empire Builders. What manner of men and beasts impelled conveyances weighting on those grinding wheels? Look! A line of shadows crossing boundless wilderness.

Foremost, nimble mules drawing their carts, come poised Mountain Men carrying trade goods to a fur fair — the Rendezvous. So, in 1830, Bill Sublette turns the first wheels from St. Louis to the Rocky Mountains! Following his faint trail, a decade later and through the 1860’s, appear straining, twisting teams of oxen, mules, and heavy draught-horses drawing Conestoga Wagons for Oregon Pioneers. Trailing the Oregon-bound avant-garde but otherwise mingling with those emigrants, inspired by religious fervor, loom footsore and trail worn companies — Mormons dragging or pushing handcarts as they follow Brigham Young to the Valley of the Salt Lake. And, after 1849, reacting to a different stimulus but sharing the same trail, urging draft animals to extremity, straining resources and often failing, hurry gold rushers California bound.

A different breed, no emigrants but enterprisers and adventurers, capture the 1860’s scene. They appear, multi-teamed units in draft — heavy wagons in tandem, jerkline operators and bullwhackers delivering freight to Indian War outposts and agencies. Now, the apparition fades in a changing environment. Dimly seen, this last commerce serves a new, pastoral society; the era of the cattle baron and the advent of settlement blot the Oregon Trail.


N 42° 15.363, W 104° 44.908

Near Guernsey, WY

Ward Mining District, Nevada

Ward Mining District, Nevada Historical Marker

Ward is a ghost town located near Ely, Nevada, once known for its silver ore. In 1875, it was the largest town in White Pine County with a population of of over 1,000. Located at over 8,000 feet in elevation, it boomed from approximately 1876 to 1882, with a peak in 1877 due to new discoveries. The Martin White Company of San Francisco bought all the existing mines in 1875.

By 1877, the town had over 2,000 residents. During this time Wells Fargo opened, and a city hall was constructed.

While crime did happen early on, it became nearly crime-free due to the 601 Vigilantes. Reportedly, the name came from “six feet under, no trial, and one rope“. By 1878, the town began to decline due to disappearing ore deposits and the rise of Cherry Creek, another mining town. By 1885, there was only one operating business.

Basically a ghost town by this point, it would see some revival from 1906 to 1920 when the Martin White Company sold its holdings to the Nevada United Mines Company.  As of the present, it still is an active mining area.

Historical Marker Inscription

Nevada State Historical Marker No. 54

Silver Ore

The ghost town of Ward, in the foothills of the Egan Range, lies some eight miles west of here. Booming from 1876 until 1882, with a peak population of 1,500, Ward was somewhat of a lawless mining camp. Early killings did occur, but justice was meted out by the vigilante committee and the hanging rope.

A million dollars worth of silver was taken from a single chamber of the Ward mine, yet an abandoned house was used for the first school and no movement was ever started to build a church.

The town was abandoned by the late 1880s, but new discoveries and better mining methods prompted a resurgence of activity in 1906 and again in the 1960s.


N 39° 05.333, W 114° 45.173

Located on U.S. 93 in White Pine County near Ely, Nevada

Willow Shade

Willow Shade Historical Marker

Willow Shade was the childhood home of Willa Cather, who was renown for writing stories about life on the Great Plains. Willow Shade was actually mentioned in her last novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl, which was written in 1940.

“The slats of the green window shutters rattled, the limp cordage of the great willow trees in the yard was whipped and tossed furiously by the wind. I had been put in my mother’s bed so that I could watch the turnpike, then a macadam road with a blue limestone facing.”

Cather wrote 12 novels, many works of nonfiction and 6 collections of short fiction. She died on April 24, 1947 in New York City.

Historical Marker Inscription

This house, built in 1858, was the childhood home of novelist Willa Cather from 1874 to 1883, when she moved with her family to Nebraska. It was the setting of the final chapters of her novel Sapphira and the Slave Girl. Willa Cather was born December 7, 1873, one mile south in the community of Gore then known as Back Creek Valley.


39° 16.139′ N, 78° 18.535′ W, near Gore, Virginia

The Ritz Theater, Austin, TX

The Ritz Theater Historical Marker, Austin, TX

According to Judge Larry J. Craddock, whose family owns the The Ritz, the space opened two weeks before the stock market crashed in 1929. Because there was a hunger for escapism, the theater that was started by L.L. Hegman survived. As the first theater built for sound movies in Austin, it was successful from the start. In the early days, the cinema was a mecca for B-movie Westerns. The stars of the films often came to town and put on a show at the theater.

The theater passed to Hegman’s son Elmo in 1937. It was officially a movie theater until it was closed in 1964. In 1974, Jim Franklin and Bill Livinggood reopened the Ritz, becoming a stage for musical performances from the likes of Willie Nelson and others. It also hosted stage plays.

In 1975, Franklin closed shop. But in 1982, Craig Underwood, Shannon Sedwick and Michael Shelton converted the Ritz into a music venue, garnering the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Waters, Megadeth and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to play its stage. It would remain a music venue until 1987. Throughout the 1990s and until 2005, it was both a bar and a live music venue.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema occupied the space from 2007 until 2021. It closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Historical Marker Inscription

In 1927, the historic Ritz Theater was built and opened by J.J. Hegman and is still owned by his grandson, Austinite Larry Craddock. “Talkie” made the Ritz a destination early on. Ten cents would get you a ticket and a comfortable seat. Westerns became a staple, as well as boxing and family films. The Ritz has enjoyed many incarnations as a live music venue and event space. In the mid ’70s, Jim Franklin, of Armadillo World Headquarters fame, revived it as a rock ‘n’ roll hall. In the early ’80s, the Ritz was home to countless national and local punk bands, such as Black Flag, The Misfits, The Big Boys and Minor Threat. Later in the ’80s, the Ritz was home to Esther’s Follies, as well as heavy metal bands such as Testament and Slayer. In 2007, Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League restored the façade and converted the Ritz back to a movie theater which continues to operate today.


320 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

30.26731°N, 97.73961°W

Jenkins Orphanage, North Charleston, SC

Jenkins Orphanage Historical Marker, North Charleston, South Carolina

The Jenkins Orphanage was founded by Rev. Daniel Joseph Jenkins, a former orphan himself, in 1891. The myth around the founding is that Jenkins stumbled upon four homeless boys in a freight car who had no one to care for them. The orphanage, which assisted African American children, was originally located next to the old jail in downtown Charleston until 1937. 

The main claim to fame for the orphanage is the Jenkins Orphanage Band, which was formed to help support the organization. The band played across American and Europe, and became the training ground for many top musicians and helping with the creation of jazz. The orphanage needed money beyond the $1,000 stipend it received from the City of Charleston. Jenkins got donations of instrument and old uniforms from the Citadel. P.M. “Hatsie” Logan and Francis Eugene Mikell were brought in to teach the children. 

The band played for the inaugurations for President Theodore Roosevelt’s in 1905 and President William Howard Taft in 1909. They also had their own stage at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Jenkins had up to five bands tour in the summer and two in the winter. Over time, the orphanage became the place to go for Charleston musicians.

After Jenkins death in 1937, the orphanage moved to North Charleston and five dormitories were built. An elementary school was added for the African American children in the area.

Currently, the Jenkins Institute currently takes care of teenage girls ages 11 to 21.

Historical Marker Inscription


Since 1937 this has been the campus of the Jenkins Orphanage, established in Charleston in 1891 by Rev. Daniel Joseph Jenkins (1862-1937). Jenkins, a Baptist minister, founded this orphanage for African American children with aid from the city. Housed in the old Marine Hospital on Franklin Street downtown 1892-1937, it also included an institute to teach and train children between the ages of 3 and 20. More than 500 lived there by 1896.


Jenkins Orphanage Historical Marker, North Charleston, South Carolina


The Jenkins Orphanage Band played concerts across the U.S. and Europe for more than 30 years to help fund the orphanage. The band, taught by Hatsie Logan and Eugene Mikell, is prominent in the early history of jazz; alumni Cat Anderson, Freddie Green, and Jabbo Smith played for Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and others. The orphanage moved here in 1937, and its offices and dorms were built by the City of Charleston. Those historic buildings burned in the 1980s.

Erected 2008 by The Daniel Joseph Jenkins Institute for Children, a program of the Orphan Aid Society, Inc.


Azalea Drive (State Highway 10-894), North Charleston, SC 29405

32° 50.816′ N, 79° 59.788′ W

Cows, Wildlife and Gold, Wyoming

Cows, Wildlife and Gold, Wyoming Historical Marker

The Cheyenne River, also known as Chyone, which refers to the Cheyenne people who once lived in the region, is a tributary of the Missouri River. In Lakota, it’s called ‘Wakpá Wašté’ (Good River). It is about 295 miles (475 km) long and drains an area of 24,240 square miles. It runs through eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota, and includes the Black Hills upland region. In fact, 60% of the drainage basin is located in South Dakota.

The Angostura Dam is located on the Cheyenne River near Hot Springs, SD. This project was finished in 1949. Via man-made reservoirs, the Cheyenne River is connected with the Missouri at Lake Oahe, a man-made reservoir.

Historical Marker Inscription

The Cheyenne River drainage system has been the locus of human activity for thousands of years. Native Americans used the corridor in search of wild game and wild plants resources. When gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1875, miners, gamblers, freighters and road agents were among those following the Cheyenne-Deadwood road through this area. Stage coaches carried gold to the railroad in Cheyenne and brought passengers back. Robbers’ Roost, a creek crossing a few miles north of Mule Creek Junction, was a favorite spot for hold-ups. General George Crook and his men camped nearby on the Cheyenne River in June 1876 during the Powder River Campaign while Custer waged his battle at the Little Big Horn.

In the 1870s and 80’s thousands of cattle came, later followed by thousands of sheep – most of them trailed from Cheyenne. Ranches were built up in the late 1870s and 1880s. A few of them remain in the same family today. The Cheyenne River and its tributaries have water sources for pioneers, livestock, wildlife, and the irrigation of alfalfa fields.

Today most of the sheep are gone. Longhorn cattle were replaced by Herefords, and later by mostly Angus cattle. The short nutritious grasses of the area feed some of the best beef animals in the world. Calves are moved from these prairies in the fall to become beef for this nation and the world. Hunters come from throughout America to harvest the pronghorn antelope and mule deer made abundant by the rancher’s development of water and pasture.


Mule Creek Junction Rest Area, Wyoming, Highway 18 and 85 – 45 miles from Lusk, Wyoming

N 43° 22.730, W 104° 13.257

Ione, Nevada

Ione, Nevada Historical Marker

While Native Americans lived in the land for 5,000 years, it was the Silver Rush that put Ione on the map. Founded in 1863 after silver was discovered in the Shoshone Mountain Range, it became a trade and milling center. When Nevada became a state in 1864, the town had a population of over 600 people, and it was the Nye County’s seat.

The town, however, didn’t last long. By 1867, the town of Belmont had attracted most of Ione’s residents away, and the county seat was moved to Belmont. In 1896, the town briefly boomed again when a 10-stamp mill was constructed. Later, in 1897, A. Phelps Stokes purchased much of the mining and milling interests in Union District, but by 1898, silver had dropped in value. Cinnabar deposits briefly brought prospectors to the area again from 1912 to 1914.

Ione General Store

While the town is largely deserted, it still hangs on. In fact, it’s known as the “Town That Refused to Die”.  It still has about 41 residents, but most of the businesses have ceased operations. It still has the claim to fame of being where the movie Tremors with Kevin Bacon was filmed.

Welcome to Ione Nevda

Historical Marker Inscription

American Indians lived in Ione Valley for at least 5,000 years.

In 1863, European Americans discovered silver, and in 1864, Ione City was the first county seat of the newly created Nye County. Over 600 people worked in the prosperous town until a promising ore body in Belmont attracted most of the miners in 1865, capturing the county seat in 1867.

Alternately prosperous and poor yet never completely deserted; Ione suffered mining depressions, milling difficulties, and the loss of miners to other rich strikes throughout its history.


38° 56′ 58.338″ N, 117° 35′ 6.822″ W

SR-844, Round Mountain, NV 89409, United States

First Bryan Baptist Church, Savannah, GA

First Bryan Baptist Church Historical Marker Georgia

The oldest, continuous African American Baptist church in the U.S., the First Bryan Baptist Church was founded in 1788 by Andrew Bryan, a Savannah slave. He served as the first pastor of the church and later purchased the current site of the church after he purchased his freedom in 1793. He paid “30 pounds of silver” (about $150.00) for the land, and the original church building was constructed in 1795. The land where the church was built is located on land that originally was part of the Yamacraw Indian Village.

The current structure was constructed between 1873 and 1888, and it was designed by John B. Hogg. The stained glass inside the church features some of the founding fathers of the African American church.

First Bryan Baptist Church, Savannah, GA

Historical Marker Inscription

First Bryan Baptist Church
Constituted 1788

First Bryan dates its founding to the constitution of the Ethiopian Church of Jesus Christ under Rev. Andrew Bryan in January 1788, making it one of the nation’s oldest African-American Baptist churches. Known later as First Colored Church, First African, and Third African, the congregation took the name First Bryan Baptist in 1867. Construction of the first church building began here in 1793 on property purchased by Reverend Bryan. The current building was completed in 1874. First Bryan ministers including Garrison Frazier and Ulysses Houston attended the nearby meeting of local black leaders with Gen. Sherman in January 1865 that resulted in Special Field Orders No. 15, promising confiscated coastal land to freed slaves. In the twentieth century, Civil Rights leader W.W. Law taught Sunday School at First Bryan for many years.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and First Bryan Baptist Church.