Ohio USA

Sewah Studios and the History of Historical Markers

The paint used at Sewah Studios can withstand the elements for decades

How Sewah Studios Made History

You may not have heard of Sewah Studios before. That’s okay; I never had either. Until my weekend trip to Marietta, Ohio. And while most people (like me) may not have heard of Sewah Studios, I guarantee that most people have seen their creations.


Yep, Sewah Studios is one of the top producers of historical markers in the US. Thousands of these story-telling plaques from Sewah Studios are posted around the country.

And their story is fascinating.

E.M. Hawes saw a need to share the importance of places with American tourists when they would drive to national parks or significant monuments and have no information on site about what they were looking at.

So Mr. Hawes put on his entrepreneurial hat and set out to fulfill this need. Hawes = Sewah spelled backwards, and Sewah Studios, creator or historical markers, was born.

The company was sold in 1953 to Gerald Smith & has been in the family for 3 generations.

In a way, Sewah Studios is literally making history every day, by creating the historical markers that share the stories of what makes a place important. They make history by preserving history.

How are historical markers made at Sewah Studios?

I’ll show you. Here’s a video from my visit that shows the process of making historical markers:

Now THIS is American grit and entrepreneurship. A company that doesn’t forsake artistry and human touch for efficiency and cost savings. A reverence for the tried, tested, true, tedious process to maintain quality of work.

These markers demand labor that requires a balance of grace and muscle, artistry and chemistry, physical grit and delicate precision. Craftsmanship and pride are poured into the product.

How can I visit Sewah Studios?

Sewah Studios is pretty ubiquitous. They’re historical markers are everywhere. I suppose every time you read a marker, you make a small visit to their studio.

Unfortunately, tours are not available to the public. However, there are many things to do in Marietta, Ohio if you like history. AND if you’re into the spookier side of travel, ghost hunting in Marietta is definitely something you can do!

Sewah Studios typeface in creating the historical markers




You Might Also Like

%d bloggers like this: