Markleeville shows off new sign of the times |

Markleeville shows off new sign of the times

January Riddle
For the R-C
Locals and visitors gathered around one of the newly refurbished Markleeville welcome signs on Saturday, August 18. Pictured standing from left are Robert Bernard, artist Bill Rose, Mary Rawson, Melena Bernard, DeAnne Jang, Patricia Schwartz, January Riddle, Maydelin Griffith, David Griffith, and Mark Schwartz. Seated in front are Johanna Bernard, Austin Bernard, and Grant Holmes.

Locals and visitors gathered to celebrate the unveiling of the newly refurbished Markleeville welcome signs on Aug. 18. The new signs greet visitors coming into Markleeville from both the north and south entrances on Highway 89. Artist Bill Rose, who created the original signs 28 years ago and completed the restoration of his own work, was present to witness the unveiling and to talk about his art.

His concept, he explained, was to depict the varied ecology of the area. The green forests, the golden meadows, and the snow-capped mountains are all represented in the carved works. The four seasons, too, are highlighted in the bright colors of land and sky.

Major business contributor DeAnne Jang of the Markleeville General Store cut the ribbon and lifted the curtain for the formal unveiling.

The original signs, like the new ones, came about when a group of people seeking to enhance the entrances to the town contributed and solicited funds from townsfolk and businesses.

Rather than commission brand new signs, the citizens’ groups decided to respect the design agreed upon by their predecessors. The restoration work that brought the signs back to colorful life cost $3,400.

“These signs are a community gift,” said Markleeville Enhancement Club president, Mary Rawson. “The original signs had not been maintained for all those 28 years.”

“It was time to show visitors and locals that Markleeville is proud of its beautiful community,” added Club treasurer, Mark Schwartz. “The old signs were faded and chipped; they didn’t show our city in the best light.”

The Markleeville Enhancement Club was created, Schwartz added, “to enrich and beautify the town and surrounding community.” This sign restoration was one of the various projects the group has planned.

The Alpine Economic Development Committee and the Chamber of Commerce lent support to the project. District 5 Alpine County Supervisor David Griffith and his wife Maydelin were among the attendees.