Historic Plaque Program

Madison is important both as an early shoreline settlement, including farms, shipbuilding ventures, and small industries, and as a popular summer resort town. The local architecture reflects these distinct periods in Madison's heritage.

The Madison Historical Society offers its Historic Plaque Program to owners of all town properties that predate 1930. The purpose of the plaque program is threefold: to call attention to the historic character of Madison; to give recognition both to its early buildings and to the people who built or resided in them; to encourage stewardship of and appreciation for the historic built environment of our community.

In addition to the name of the Madison Historical Society, each plaque lists the date of the building construction and the name of the original owner. To qualify for a plaque, the building must be visually recognizable as an historic building, and its history must be documented according to Madison Historical Society procedures. The dating of a structure is done by deed research (and other primary source information) as well as by an architectural review. Deed research is conducted by an experienced historical consultant often working in tandem with an architectural historian who provides the necessary architectural expertise for dating Madison's historic homes and other structures.

In addition to the plaque, the owner of the structure receives a history of the building, a deed report, and an architectural report. At the present time, the MHS can complete the research on approximately a dozen historic properties per year. We create a schedule on a first-come, first-served basis. We contact each building owner on our waiting list 30 days in advance of beginning the research and documentation of each property. We encourage owners to contact us at their earliest convenience to add their request to our waiting list. We thank all historic property owners for their patience and support of this important initiative.

An MHS plaque is an honorary recognition of sites, people, and architecture important to Madison history. It carries no legal protection or restrictions for the property.

 Plaque Application


Current Plaqued Structures

In addition to other plaqued structures throughout town, the MHS has recently plaqued more than twenty-five historic buildings both within the national historic district and the Liberty Street historic district. Binders on all of the currently plaqued structures, with architectural reports, deed research, maps, census records, genealogy, and other related information, are available for review by the public at the MHS administrative offices during our regular business hours.

Plaqued Structures and Narratives

frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of this program?
The purpose of the  program is to call attention to the historic character of Madison and give recognition to early buildings and to the people who built or resided in them.

What are the guidelines for the program?
To qualify for a plaque, the building must be documented as being built before 1930, and it must be visually recognizable as an historic building.

By what means is the date of the structure determined?
The dating of a structure is done by deed research (and other primary source information) as well as by an architectural review by a professional architectural historian.

Does a Madison Historical Society Plaque restrict any future alterations to the house or building?
No. The purpose of the plaque is to recognize the historic nature of the building. In no way does it restrict any sort of future alteration of the building.

What does the plaque look like?
The plaque is a rectangular tablet, approximately 12" by 18", with the name of the Madison Historical Society in the lower right corner. The plaque lists the date of construction of the building and the name of the original builder of the structure or the surname of the family who owned the building for the longest period of time.

What is the cost?
The cost is $400. In addition to the plaque, the homeowner will receive a ring-bound history of the building, a deed report, and an architectural report.

How do I start the process?
Fill out the application form and send it to the MHS. Upon receipt of your request, a member of the Preservation Committee will add your property to the schedule. As the date approaches, the deed researcher and/or architectural historian will contact the building owner to arrange for the inspection of the structure.

Further questions?
Please call the MHS offices at 203.245.4567 or email us at contact@madisonhistory.org .

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