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Boundaries & Surveys

Point of Beginning, U.S. Public Lands
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Boundaries & Surveys Era: 1750-1799 DateCreated: 1785 East Liverpool State: OH Zip: 43920 Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Point-of-Beginning,-U-S--Public-Lands/ Creator: Hutchins, Thomas

The "Land Ordinance of 1785" required that U.S. lands in the public domain be surveyed before sale, and that the surveys be made in accordance with a consistent, integrated system of lines grid-oriented to a true meridian (north-south reference line) and base line (east-west reference line), subdividing the land into approximately square parcels, called townships.  

Thomas Hutchins, the first Geographer of the United States, drove his stake near East Liverpool, Ohio to mark the Point of Beginning of the Geographer's Line, the first westward base line.

YearAdded:
1985
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Nyttend Image Caption: This monument marks the site that served as the basis for the entire Public Land Survey System — the system by which most of the United States, outside of the original colonies, was surveyed. Era_date_from: 1785
Emanuel Bowen's 1747 map showing the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina.
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Boundaries & Surveys Era: 1700-1749 DateCreated: 1728-1821 Middlesboro State: KY Zip: Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Royal-Colonial-Boundary-of-1665/ Creator: Charles II

The Royal Colonial Boundary of 1665 was decreed by England's King Charles II to demarcate his American colonies. It provided a survey from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River along 36 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude. The boundary now serves to divide Virginia from North Carolina and Kentucky from Tennessee. 

YearAdded:
1985
Image Credit: Image Caption: Emanuel Bowen's 1747 map showing the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina. Era_date_from: 1728
Vancouver's Mapping of the West Coast of North America
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Boundaries & Surveys Era: 1750-1799 DateCreated: 1791-1795 West Coast of North America N/A State: Zip: Country: USA Website: https://www.asce.org/project/vancouver-s-mapping-of-the-west-coast-of-n-a-/ Creator: Vancouver, George

The voyage of Captain George Vancouver, 1791 -1795, was commissioned by the British Admiralty to map in detail the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska and to meet with Spanish authorities on the coast to enforce the terms of the Nootka Sound Convention of 1790. 

YearAdded:
2009
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Robbot Image Caption: A view of Mount Rainier from Captain Vancouver's voyage. Era_date_from: 1791
Borden Base Line
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Boundaries & Surveys Era: 1830-1839 DateCreated: 1831 South Deerfield State: MA Zip: Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Borden-Base-Line/ Creator: Paine, Robert Treat , Borden, Simeon

The Borden Base Line is a 39,009.73 feet (7.42 miles ) survey line through the State of Massachusetts. The line was the first project of its kind undertaken in America and its establishment was the key element for Massachusetts pioneering mandate to survey the entire state. 

The challenge was to use trigonometrical principles, instead of astronomical observation alone, to provide greater accuracy in surveying large areas.

YearAdded:
1981
Image Credit: Public Domain (Copyright Exp.) Image Caption: An 1871 map of Massachusetts highlighting the Borden Base Line Era_date_from: 1831
Mason-Dixon Line
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Boundaries & Surveys Era: 1750-1799 DateCreated: 1767 Delaware Pennsylvania State: Zip: Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Mason-Dixon-Line/ Creator: Mason, Charles , Dixon, Jeremiah

The granite milestones marking the Mason-Dixon Line bear crests from the two parties involved in the land-grant dispute, the families of William Penn and Charles Calvert (also known as Lord Baltimore). 

YearAdded:
1977
Image Credit: Original Image: Flickr/Padraic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: Mason-Dixon Line Era_date_from: 1767
Cranetown Triangulation Site
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Boundaries & Surveys Era: 1800-1829 DateCreated: 1817 Kip's Castle Park Essex County State: NJ Zip: Country: USA Website: http://www.asce.org/Project/Cranetown-Triangulation-Site/ Creator: Hassler, Ferdinand

The precise system of measurements provided today by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey originated with an act of Congress under the administration of Thomas Jefferson in 1807 that funded work on "an accurate chart" of America's coastal waters. Intended to aid sea-going commerce, the first work on this project, carried out in 1816 and 1817, helped establish a complex grid of geodetic reference points on which much of our land- and sea-based navigation now depends. 

YearAdded:
1986
Image Credit: Source: http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/theodolites/hasslers_first_sketch.html (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Image Caption: Cranetown Triangulation Site Era_date_from: 1817
Ellicott's Stone
Society: ASCE Main Category: Civil Sub Category: Boundaries & Surveys Era: 1750-1799 DateCreated: 1799 Unnamed Rd Bucks State: AL Zip: 36512 Country: USA Website: https://www.asce.org/project/ellicott-stone/ Creator: Ellicott, Andrew

The stone was set by the joint U.S.-Spanish survey party on April 10, 1799.  Made of sandstone, it is roughly two feet high and eight inches thick. On the north side of the stone is the inscription "U.S. Lat. 31, 1799." On the south side is "Dominio de S.M. Carlos IV, Lat. 31, 1799."

YearAdded:
1968
Image Credit: Public Domain (Author's Choice) Image Caption: Ellicott's Stone Era_date_from: 1799
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Innovations

Ellicott's Stone

The stone was set by the joint U.S.-Spanish survey party on April 10, 1799.  Made of sandstone, it is roughly two feet high and eight inches thick. On the north side of the stone is the inscription "U.S. Lat. 31, 1799." On the south side is "Dominio de S.M. Carlos IV, Lat. 31, 1799."

Read More
Cranetown Triangulation Site

The precise system of measurements provided today by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey originated with an act of Congress under the administration of Thomas Jefferson in 1807 that funded work on "an accurate chart" of America's coastal waters. Intended to aid sea-going commerce, the first…

Read More
Mason-Dixon Line

The granite milestones marking the Mason-Dixon Line bear crests from the two parties involved in the land-grant dispute, the families of William Penn and Charles Calvert (also known as Lord Baltimore). 

What is now generally referred to as the Mason-Dixon Line was established by the…

Read More
Borden Base Line

The Borden Base Line is a 39,009.73 feet (7.42 miles ) survey line through the State of Massachusetts. The line was the first project of its kind undertaken in America and its establishment was the key element for Massachusetts pioneering mandate to survey the entire state. 

The…

Read More
Vancouver's Mapping of the West Coast of North America

The voyage of Captain George Vancouver, 1791 -1795, was commissioned by the British Admiralty to map in detail the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska and to meet with Spanish authorities on the coast to enforce the terms of the Nootka Sound Convention of 1790. 

Departing…

Read More
Emanuel Bowen's 1747 map showing the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina.

The Royal Colonial Boundary of 1665 was decreed by England's King Charles II to demarcate his American colonies. It provided a survey from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River along 36 degrees, 30 minutes north latitude. The boundary now serves to divide Virginia from North Carolina and…

Read More
Point of Beginning, U.S. Public Lands

The "Land Ordinance of 1785" required that U.S. lands in the public domain be surveyed before sale, and that the surveys be made in accordance with a consistent, integrated system of lines grid-oriented to a true meridian (north-south reference line) and base line (east-west reference line),…

Read More

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