Caroline County native honored
Caroline County native John Cephus was chosen as a topic of a new historical highway marker recently approved by the Department of Historic Resources.
Here’s what the marker will say:
Born in Washington D.C., John Cephas grew up there and in Caroline County. He was influenced at an early age by his mother’s singing, and a cousin taught him the highly syncopated and danceable guitar style now known as Piedmont Blues, which employs a complex, finger-picking approach. Cephas performed at rural dance parties and as a gospel singer, developing his rich voice. He, and harmonica master Phil Wiggins, made numerous awarding-winning albums and performed all over the world, earning the W. C. Handy Award as Blues Entertainers of the Year in 1987. Cephas received the coveted National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989.
Sponsor: Department of Historic Resources
Proposed location: Caroline County, location to be determined
Funded by the Department of Historic Resources from a federal transportation grant, the Cephus marker arises from the department’s ongoing initiative to recognize significant people, places, and events in the history of women, African Americans, and Virginia Indians in the Commonwealth.
The Virginia highway marker program, which began in 1927 with the creation of the first historical markers along U.S. Rte. 1, is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently there are more than 2,100 official state markers, mostly installed and maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The manufacturing cost of a new highway markers is paid for by the sponsor, except for those markers specifically developed by the Department of Historic Resources.
More information about the Historical Highway Marker Program is available on the website of the Department of Historic Resources at http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/.