New book a ‘sign’ of hope for local author

By on August 10, 2016

Local resident N. Clair Clawser has spent over 50 years traveling the highways and thoroughfares of Pennsylvania documenting town markers.

And now, he recently completed his second book “Cast Iron Signs of Pennsylvania Towns and Other Landmarks,” which tells the story of these often forgotten pieces of our state’s history.

The collection is a sequel of sorts to “A Guide to Pennsylvania Towns,” which he penned last year. This new edition contains additional information, as well as 350 photographs.

According to Clawser, the oldest sign still in existence is situated in the western part of the state in Mundy’s Corners, and dates back to as early as the 1920s.

But this sign, like so many others, may not exist forever.

“Some are no longer there,” Clawser says. “They started removing them as soon as the state made road improvements. Over the years, some were also hit by cars or snow plows. Many were never repainted or replaced.”

When asked, Clawser cites his love for Pennsylvania and its geography that has driven his passion to seek out these landmarks.

“These signs are icons. If they disappear, it would be a big loss to our history. Eventually, we’d like to see each town have their own sign,” he adds.

Currently residing in Brickerville, Clawser grew up in Campbelltown, moving to the Lititz area seven years ago. In addition to researching local history, he was also the creator of “Little Susie Sunbeam,” a comic strip which appeared in the pages of the Lititz Record Express beginning in 2005. He also owns and operates AFC Printing in Lebanon.

Copies of his book, which are priced at $24.95, are available at the Lebanon County Historical Society, the Ephrata Cloister gift shop, or by calling the author at 627-4796.

Clair Clawser poses next to a cast iron road sign. These iconic, informative signs are the topic of Clawser’s recently-released book.

Clair Clawser poses next to a cast iron road sign. These iconic, informative signs are the topic of
Clawser’s recently-released book.

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