The Montana Historical Society developed the National Register Sign
Program to improve public knowledge of Montana's rich and colorful
heritage, to encourage others to seek Register listing, and to promote
the preservation of our historic resources.
Each exclusive National Register sign includes a special logo and brief
description of the property's historic significance.
Since the program began in 1990, hundreds of National Register signs
have been placed across Montana. Montanans and visitors have come to
recognize that a Montana National Register sign marks a place important
to the history of our state.
Other organizations have been soliciting orders for National Register
plaques, but this is the only official sign program for the State of
Montana and the only one that includes interpretive text detailing the
history of your property.
Many of the state's
National Register sign texts can now be found on the
Montana History Wiki.
An application form is now available in both
MS Word (.doc) and (.pdf) formats.
National Register Sign
National Register Sign
For more information on the sign program, contact Ellen Baumler,
National Register sign Program Coordinator at 406-444-1687;
email@example.com; or the Montana
Historical Society, 225 N. Roberts, Helena, MT 59620.
Who Can Apply?
- Owners of individually listed National Register properties
- Owners or representatives of listed historic districts
- Owners with contributing properties within listed historic
If you are not sure about your property's status, your local
preservation office can answer your questions. If your community
does not have a preservation office, contact the State Historic
Preservation Office: 406-444-7715 or
After a property owner submits an application, Historical Society
staff carefully craft each interpretive sign text, drawing from the
site's National Register of Historic Places nomination and a variety
of other primary and secondary resources. Each text is designed to
highlight the property's distinctive history and pique the reader's
interest. Applicants will receive a draft text for review and
approval prior to preparation of final sign copy.
Applications are processed in order of receipt and on the basis of
geographic distribution, so some time may elapse before applicants
receive text for approval. After they approve the text and submit
payment, signs are submitted to the manufacturer. Applicants can
expect to receive their signs eight to ten weeks after final
approval of the text.
Applicants are responsible for installing their signs outside, where
the public can enjoy them, within a reasonable time of receiving their
Mounting instructions can be found here.
Owners or sponsoring organizations pay less than 10% of sign
manufacturing costs. The Montana Historical Society pays for all
other costs (including research/writing time) with its allocated
portion of the Accommodations Tax.
The current cost of each district/individual property sign is
approximately $740. The cost of a contributing property sign, either
style, is approximately $475. Post mount brackets for the
freestanding type mounting option cost $100. Cost to applicants is
only $55 for an individual/district sign, $35 for a contributing
sign, and $7 for the post mount bracket.
Types of Signs
Individually listed and district properties receive Type A signs
with approximately 250 words of interpretive text.
Owners of properties that contribute to listed historic districts
may choose either Type B or Type C signs, each of which has up to
180 words of interpretive text.
Hardware is included for the mounting of your choice, but the
applicant is responsible for installation. Freestanding installation
requires a threaded pipe (not included).
All plaques are pewter-finished anodized aluminum with dark etched
letters and are designed to withstand harsh weather.
Type A signs are 20" x 24". They can be mounted on the building or
on a post. If you plan to mount it on a post, you will need to order
a post mount. (This option is NOT available to owners of
Type B signs consist of two 8"x 12" panels. One panel features the
National Register logo. The other features the interpretive text.
These panels can only be mounted on the wall. If you plan to mount
your sign in a narrow space, you may want to order a "Type B" sign.
Type C signs are 13" x 16". These are the most popular type of sign
for contributing properties. They can be mounted either on a
building, fence, or stone wall, or on a post. If you plan to mount
it on a post, you will need to order a post mount.