JBurg history marked with new signs

— Five new markers installed in North Creek and Wevertown tell a little bit of the history of Johnsburg's edifices, and sign designer Michelle SanAntonio said there's plenty of history to make more, if funding can be found.

She was inspired to create the 18- by 24-inch signs during a walking visit to Montpelier, Vt. Signs describing local landmarks seemed like a great idea for Johnsburg, she said.

SanAntonio chose the buildings for what will hopefully be the first round of informative signs on merits of the narrative the building represents and its access to visitors.

She got some requests for private buildings to be reviewed for a marker, but the difficulties of visitors trampling around and inspecting such places were too much for the initial five-sign installation.

The signs feature a history of the building and images provided by the Johnsburg Historical Society from the structure's past.

“It allows locals and tourists to see what the building looked like in its former life and how it's transformed,” said SanAntonio.

A sign was installed at the Copperfield, formerly the American Hotel, which burned and was rebuilt a decade later. Down the street, the Foothills store's sign features a photo showing how it has a completely different front than it did 100 years ago. Boutique store Poiema Vault's marker cites the building's former role as the First North Creek National Bank.

In Wevertown, Beaver Brook Outfitters added a sign detailing its history as the St. Borromeo Catholic Church. On the other side of the intersection, the Community Center's plaque recalls how it moved across the road during Route 8 construction.

Though she picked two Wevertown locations because she didn't want to focus too much on North Creek, SanAntonio said most of the buildings in the hamlet have enough history for a plaque.

The Main Street drugstore once hosted town board meetings, and an opera house upstairs brought stage performances to North Creek long before the Tannery Pond Community Center was built.

The train station at Riparius and churches in Bakers Mills are also candidates for future signs, said SanAntonio.

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