In the world of historic markers, most of which are dedicated to war and politics, a marker inspired by hash browns and quick breads is a departure. “It’s an example of what we have tried to do when we were given the marker program,” said W. Todd Groce, president of the Savannah-based Georgia Historical Society, which took over the program from the state in 1998. “We have tried to diversify topics, to tell Georgia history in all its breadth.”
Made of cast aluminum and limited to 100 words, a historic marker costs $5,000 to install, half of which is provided by the GHS and the other half by the applicant — in this case, Waffle House. (The original Waffle House #1 has become a museum devoted to the restaurant chain, open by appointment and on select Saturdays.)
Groce said that GHS is committed to expanding the topics covered by historic markers. Among its first efforts since 1998 were tablets that commemorated golfer Bobby Jones and the nuclear-powered merchant ship the NS Savannah.
“We’ve tried to breathe life into [the program] and reposition the marker program so it is telling the whole story of Georgia,” said Groce.