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Point of Beginning, U.S. Public Lands

Location: East Liverpool, OH, USA
Date: 1785
Creator(s): 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.

The surveys were required by the ordinance to begin "... on the Ohio River at a point that shall be found to be due north from the western termination of a line which has been run as the southern boundary of the state of Pennsylvania." This point was chosen because the southern boundary of Pennsylvania had just been surveyed, but the western boundary had not.

Tags: Era: 1750-1799
Innovation designated by:
Point of Beginning, U.S. Public Lands
Courtesy Wikipedia/Nyttend
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.
Harvey Avenue
East Liverpool, OH, USA

40.642392, -80.519378

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