Historical Marker Committee


The mission of the Orleans Historic Markers Committee is to preserve the history and rich heritage of the Town of Orleans through the placement of interpretative historic markers at appropriate sites and the development and dissemination of associated programs and materials to highlight and emphasize the markers.

A Story to Tell

The Orleans Historic Markers Committee consists of a group of residents who are joined together by a commitment to preserve the rich history and heritage of our town for current and future generations, for our residents and our many visitors. The Committee has embarked on a project to tell our town’s story through a series of interpretive historical markers and associated projects that commemorate the people, places, buildings, and historical legacies that have made our town such a unique and special place.

Beginning its work in 2015, the Committee has researched, planned, designed, and installed five markers in the first phase of its work. Our “anchor” marker is located in front of Snow Library, and in three panels, tells the story of the town’s origins, founding, incorporation, and naming. Markers have also been installed memorializing the coming of the railroad to Orleans, Rock Harbor Academy, the origins of Snow Library, the Old Methodist Burial Ground, Orleans Lifesaving History, the Old Post Office, and the Old Firehouse.

The Committee’s latest project is a multi-panel marker installed at Nauset Beach commemorating the lifesaving heritage of Orleans and our relationship to the sea. This marker  memorializes the wreck of the Sparrow-hawk, the Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States Lifesaving Service, the United States Coast Guard, and the World War I shelling of Orleans by a German U-Boat. The focus of this marker complex will be the people and events of Orleans that created this remarkable heritage.

Future projects will be selected from an inventory of historic sites that the Committee has assembled. The website will be enhanced with additional markers, historic sites, research publications and oral histories so please visit us often.

Board of Directors

Pat Perry – Co Chair/Project Manager
Ron Petersen – Co Chair/Historian
Kathleen McNeil – Secretary
Joanna Keeley – Archivist
Tish Noyes
Steve Bornemeier
Judy Brainerd – Community Preservation Committee Liasion

The Committee, now part of the Orleans Historic Commission is indebted to the Department of Public Works, for installing the markers; the Community Preservation Committee for providing the funding, the Orleans Community Partnership for preparing the initial grant applications, and the Snow Library Board of Trustees for providing a prime location for our “Anchor Marker – The Founding of Orleans”.

Special thanks to Hopewell Manufacturing for their collaboration on producing the Historic Markers.