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Author Topic: Older WV county road signage  (Read 891 times)

Andrew T.

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Older WV county road signage
« on: December 05, 2019, 10:40:40 AM »

I want to talk about West Virginia county (secondary) route signage.  There are three usual methods for signing these roads:

  • With independent black-and-white circular markers.  This is very uncommon, and usually seems to happen only when a U.S. or state primary highway is "demoted" to county status and traffic patterns dictate signage being kept to the same standards as before.
  • With big green signs containing the road name, posed in advance of intersections on Appalachian Development corridors and such.
  • With small green signs containing the road name and number, posted at intersections.  This is by far and away the most common method.

The small green signs have gone through several variations over the years:


Welcome to Crum. by Andrew T's Archives, on Flickr (Yes, the Lick Branch Road sign has a missing route number.)
  • Series E lettering in upper and lowercase.  This is the newest style, first appearing around the tail end of the '90s.  It's also the most common.

  • Series C uppercase lettering; white circle with black number.  This style appeared by the mid-1980s, and was produced and posted through the 1990s.  These signs are still fairly common, but they're no longer as ubiquitous as they used to be.

  • Series C uppercase lettering; outlined green circle with white number.  The 1970s style, and the oldest style I'm familiar with.  These signs are no longer common, and most have succumbed to attrition and replacement over the last thirty-odd years.  (Also note the smaller arrow.)
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Andrew T.

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2019, 11:05:05 AM »

There are two questions burning on my mind:

  • What outlined green circle signs still exist?  This style has become precipitously rare.  In 2013, I tore around the back roads of Summers, Mercer, and McDowell counties and saw a grand total of two green circle signs...and at least one of them has since been replaced.

    After a bit of cursory sniffing on GSV, the only example I managed to find was this one in Wyoming County.  Both sides are in poor condition, and the reverse side is peeling to shreds.

  • What signage was used for West Virginia county roads before the 1970s?  Did it look like this?



    I have vague memories of traversing back roads in the 1990s and very rarely seeing small black-and-white signs bearing nothing more than a route number and an arrow (similar to the "white rectangle" markers that Virginia still posts to this day).  Many of these signs were in poor physical condition, and none of them was posted on a major road.

    But I've never found a photo of one of these signs, and I'm starting to wonder if they were nothing more than a dream.  Any thoughts?
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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 01:12:43 PM »

There are two questions burning on my mind:

  • What outlined green circle signs still exist?  This style has become precipitously rare.  In 2013, I tore around the back roads of Summers, Mercer, and McDowell counties and saw a grand total of two green circle signs...and at least one of them has since been replaced.
Here's one I remember seeing, on WV 83 near the state line - https://goo.gl/maps/c9UPz4grcT5SH9738

Quote
  • What signage was used for West Virginia county roads before the 1970s?  Did it look like this?



    I have vague memories of traversing back roads in the 1990s and very rarely seeing small black-and-white signs bearing nothing more than a route number and an arrow (similar to the "white rectangle" markers that Virginia still posts to this day).  Many of these signs were in poor physical condition, and none of them was posted on a major road.

    But I've never found a photo of one of these signs, and I'm starting to wonder if they were nothing more than a dream.  Any thoughts?

HB Elkins took a picture of one of these but I cannot locate it through google image searches online.  Some of his site is available through webarchive but I don't know if it is searchable.[/list]
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Alps

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 10:35:37 PM »

There are two questions burning on my mind:

  • What outlined green circle signs still exist?  This style has become precipitously rare.  In 2013, I tore around the back roads of Summers, Mercer, and McDowell counties and saw a grand total of two green circle signs...and at least one of them has since been replaced.
Here's one I remember seeing, on WV 83 near the state line - https://goo.gl/maps/c9UPz4grcT5SH9738
I've found these in triangle form before, if you want to talk about rare.[/list]

hbelkins

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2019, 11:14:05 AM »

There are two questions burning on my mind:

  • What outlined green circle signs still exist?  This style has become precipitously rare.  In 2013, I tore around the back roads of Summers, Mercer, and McDowell counties and saw a grand total of two green circle signs...and at least one of them has since been replaced.
Here's one I remember seeing, on WV 83 near the state line - https://goo.gl/maps/c9UPz4grcT5SH9738

Quote
  • What signage was used for West Virginia county roads before the 1970s?  Did it look like this?



    I have vague memories of traversing back roads in the 1990s and very rarely seeing small black-and-white signs bearing nothing more than a route number and an arrow (similar to the "white rectangle" markers that Virginia still posts to this day).  Many of these signs were in poor physical condition, and none of them was posted on a major road.

    But I've never found a photo of one of these signs, and I'm starting to wonder if they were nothing more than a dream.  Any thoughts?

HB Elkins took a picture of one of these but I cannot locate it through google image searches online.  Some of his site is available through webarchive but I don't know if it is searchable.[/list]

There used to be several of the outlined green circle signs east of Morgantown along and adjacent to CR 857, going down the hill to Cheat Lake. I photographed a few of them. I know I've also seen some deep in the mountains of the southwestern part of the state.

As for the black-on-white signs, the only one I ever saw was on WV 61 between Montgomery and Oak Hill, not too far north of WV 16. Unfortunately, the Millennium Highway site is still down and at this point I don't know when (or if) it will be back online.
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Andrew T.

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2019, 01:18:21 PM »


from http://web.archive.org/web/20160303192101/http://www.millenniumhwy.net/July_4_06_KY_WV_VA/July_4_06_KY_WV_VA.html

Oh my god. The white rectangles weren't a dream!  They were real!  :wow:  The fat arrow on the sign resembles the ones in this vintage photo.  I wouldn't doubt that this assembly dates to the 1950s.

Here's the intersection today. No sign of any black-and-white signs, alas.  (Also no sign of the house in the background.)

(Also interestingly, Country Club Road in Oak Hill seems to have changed numbers a few times.  It was shown as CR 18 on circa-1935 and 1946 state maps, it's shown as CR 61/16 in the photo, and it's shown as CR 38 on maps today.)
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kphoger

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2019, 01:33:12 PM »

Here's the intersection today. No sign of any black-and-white signs, alas.  (Also no sign of the house in the background.)

I suspect that the house was where Tyree Funeral Home is now, and that the description on the Millennium Highway site is incorrect when it says the camera angle is looking north on WV-61.  I'm unable to confirm when the funeral home was built, but it appears to be somewhat newer construction.
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Bitmapped

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2019, 02:38:20 PM »

The small green signs have gone through several variations over the years:


Welcome to Crum. by Andrew T's Archives, on Flickr (Yes, the Lick Branch Road sign has a missing route number.)
  • Series E lettering in upper and lowercase.  This is the newest style, first appearing around the tail end of the '90s.  It's also the most common.

This actually isn't the newest style. Signs on surface routes made within the last 3-4 years have green numerals on a white background, instead of a black numerals on a white background. I presume the change was made to simplify the manufacturing process.
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hbelkins

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2019, 03:12:09 PM »

Here's the intersection today. No sign of any black-and-white signs, alas.  (Also no sign of the house in the background.)

I suspect that the house was where Tyree Funeral Home is now, and that the description on the Millennium Highway site is incorrect when it says the camera angle is looking north on WV-61.  I'm unable to confirm when the funeral home was built, but it appears to be somewhat newer construction.

Nope. I was traveling south on WV 61 when I saw the sign, and the road turned to the right. I turned around to snap a photo.

This is the one looking south.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 03:15:18 PM by hbelkins »
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Andrew T.

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2019, 03:29:11 PM »

Found the road, found the sign, found the house:

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.9741196,-81.1530529,3a,15y,269.89h,90.32t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shvSCg03liFV_OSCaLAJZgg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Confusingly, there are two streets named "Country Club Road" that intersect Jones Avenue in Oak Hill!  So CR 61/16 is a different road from CR 18 and 38 after all.  It was also missing from 1930s and 1940s maps.

The black and white sign was still there in 2013, but by 2015 the state had replaced it with an antiseptic green sign.

This actually isn't the newest style. Signs on surface routes made within the last 3-4 years have green numerals on a white background, instead of a black numerals on a white background. I presume the change was made to simplify the manufacturing process.

*sigh* Just what we need, more variations...
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kphoger

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Re: Older WV county road signage
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2019, 03:35:13 PM »

Yep!  I just figured out our error as well.

Here is a slightly better view of the sign from 2013 (looking south).
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