Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
The London Street Department recently affixed this sign to the traffic light post at High and Maple streets. The Madison County Historical Society designed and financed the sign and several others to help visitors to London find the museum grounds.
When you live in a town, you know where the landmarks are, even if they’re off the beaten path. Visitors don’t have that advantage.
The simple solution is signs, and last week, the Madison County Historical Society put that solution to work. The City of London’s street department installed signs at First and Main streets, High and Maple, and Lafayette and Richmond, pointing the way to the Historical Society, located at 260 E. High.
The city supplied the labor and brackets; the Historical Society supplied the signs and even put up additional ones on their own.
Signage isn’t a new concept, but sometimes it takes strangers to point out the obvious. Two years ago, the City of London partnered with the City of Coshocton to take part in First Impressions, a project spearheaded by Ohio State University.
Half a dozen people from London made a surprise visit to Coshocton. A similar contingent from Coshocton returned the favor. In both cases, the visits were unannounced. Each group wrote a report about their first impressions—good, bad or otherwise.
“The folks from Coshocton enjoyed our community. They were envious of our industrial area,” said London Safety-Service Director Steve Hume. On the flip side, “they thought we had a lack of retail opportunities and not a lot of community cultural activities. They also said that if you were from the outside coming into town to explore, it was hard to find things.”
The Historical Society took the information to heart. Member Jim Keen headed up the project. He recruited London resident Harry Croghan to design the signs and London business Rustic Realm to make them.
The Historical Society’s signs are just the first of more signs to come, Hume said.
“The city also want to put up signs that direct visitors to the Chamber of Commerce and public parking that’s not visible from Main Street,” he said. “We will be working on these through the year, among others, including signs for the police department and city offices.”