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ddgsnipe

What Is The Oldest Benchmark Anyone's Found

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I just started looking for benchmarks about a week ago and am wandering what the oldest benchmark other people have found is. I live in Harford county MD north of baltimore and have found a benchmark from 1959 and 1989. By my parents in Anne Arundel they have some that were put in place in 1906 but most have not been recovered.

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Hi

 

Holograph keeps track of many kinds of find statistics on his website, including the oldest that you asked about. Here is the link to his stats page. Be sure to check out the other sections of his site as well.

 

Welcome to benchmark hunting !!!

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My oldest is 1815. Neweyess, who was with me on this hunt, has recovered a similar stone from 1813, placed by the same survey party.

 

-Paul-

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1815 huh? Looks like 1989 to me from the datasheet, and is a typical marker from the late 1980s. I see these on bridges, hills, and along railroads all over the place here. They replaced those tiny disks and rivets which were so hard to find. No missing a boulder set in a stone base. Also easy to set up a tripod over (the description says projecting 1.5 feet but all the visual clues tell me that thing is 4 feet high! Which is right?)

 

Just kidding. That is a cool marker. Nothing like that around my area.

 

My oldest find, and favorite hunt, is SUGAR LOAF S 1865. The first two people who logged it found a different disk on that hilltop. Black Dog Tracker found what I found but disagrees with my assessment (some day we are taking a group back there and seeing if we can come to a consensus about the mark).

 

I found the pics of the covered bridge interesting. Pennsylvania is the state with the most covered bridges, even if New England states are what we think of when we think covered bridges. There are probably 3 or 4 within 30 minutes drive of me and I clearly remember driving over quite a few as a kid (there are still a few left you can drive over, including one in the town of Forksville, in north central PA near World's End State Park, which is in every day use).

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There is a chance I can recover an 1833 benchmark this weekend - I KNOW where it is, it's just that the property is not generally open to the public - but this weekend, it is. Depends if I want to go for a 90 minute dive. It would also be the first recovery in Suffolk Cty NY (at least last time I looked)

 

Heh - just went and double checked - Someone beat me to it - Eaton's Neck lighthouse - KU2715

 

Been one of those ones where I kept saying "I should drive out there" - Many a time when I was a kid I fished in the "hole" below the light for blackfish

Edited by kc2ixe

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I looked at this item but never logged it. The stone that the NGS item is monumented on is a boundary marker stone set in 1751. The NGS database item however, is a reference mark monumented into the top of it in 1932. (In my opinion, it was rather callous of the CGS to mount a reference mark into the top of this historic boundary mark.) A boundary monument is not really the same thing as a geodetic mark but there are many cases where a geodetic mark is either the same item as a boundary mark, or is monumented onto a boundary mark, as in the cases of HU1443 and FB3773. So, in these cases, the boundary marks are from 1751 and 1815 but the NGS items monumented into them are dated 1932 and 1989. (I don't know what the oldest boundary marker in the U.S. is.)

 

The oldest mark that I have found (unless mloser is correct :D ) is Keller 1884 monumented in 1884. The oldest find from holograph's page is the Mount Esther mark, found by ddnutzy, that was monumented in 1832 onto a rock that is 617,223,439 years old. :D

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thanks, I saw on the site where I guy showed pictures of one of the original mason dixon stones I might go look for it.

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We seem to have no really old benchmarks in this area. The best I can do is a no-PID monument set in 1852 on a retracement of an 1816 line that became the Iowa-Missouri boundary. Picture is posted at the nearest Iowa benchmark, LE0518. Missouri DNR has actively documented these boundary markers.

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The two oldest stations in the NGS database are two Mason-Dixon boundary arc stones from 1765, JU3849 and JU3851. Seventhings found JU3851, but never logged the recovery with NGS, so it doesn't show up in the statistics page.

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So, I have this opportunity... My sister in Maine has a friend who does lobster boat tours out of Bailey's Island. He may or may not be able to land on some of the islands. So I looked for interesting benchmarks... This one struck my fancy: OC1553. It's an 1854 station. The reference marks might be 1911 or 1933? Disk looks like 1911? The 1854 mark was probably a drill hole. But is the 1911 disk in the 1854 drill hole???

OB0489 is another 1854 drill hole, but the 1911 disk is slisted as 'near an old 3/4 inch drill hole'

OC1527 wouldn't count for the contest, but try keeping me away!

Of course, with my luck, we won't be able to land at any of the islands. Oh, well.

Edited by Harry Dolphin

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I think I have listed these proud finds of mine before but will go ahead again. All of these were mountain top marks.

 

PF1145 is a Brass Pin from 1853.

 

OC2669is a controversial Copper Bolt-Hole from 1858. You have to read the NGS sheets to even begin to understand how strange this mark is.

 

PF0934 is a chiseled Triangle from 1876

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I think I have listed these proud finds of mine before but will go ahead again. All of these were mountain top marks.

...

OC2669is a controversial Copper Bolt-Hole from 1858. You have to read the NGS sheets to even begin to understand how strange this mark is.

...

This is an interesting and intrigueing story. I especially admire the 1952 recovery by HSS where the surveyor went to all the effort to trace back assumed range lines to various hypothetical nearby stations and succeded in finding the hole. He must have been thinking about that station since 1948 when he first attempted the recovery. The letters from the old timers were also interesting. And contradictory.

 

One thing that occured to me is what an advantage we have today with accurate topo maps (and the use of GPS). One could just look at the map today and know the point is on the northwest bump, not the fire tower bump. Finding the hole under the moss is another story. For that we must thank MR HSS in 1952. Let's face it - no one but no one would go to that much effort today.

 

For myself as a Manhattan searcher, there is nothing that old in the NGS database. the oldest is the Memorial Church spire from 1885 (KU3997).

 

But there are a few non-NGS 19th century marks that I have found documentation for. There's an iron bolt set in 1880 on the High Bridge Tower (and similar ones in a few other places which I have found) by the department of public works (KU3973) and there are two brass bolts on the Central Park reservoir set by the Board of Water Supply, probably in 1864 when the reservoir was moved there from (what is now) the Great Lawn. And just yesterday I recovered an 1886 USC&GS bench mark on Castle William on Governors Island (KV4379).

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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As “holograph” mentioned above, the two oldest benchmarks are JU3849 and JU3851, both gneiss Arc Line stones set by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in 1765. Both have an NGS monumentation date of 1765. However, Mason and Dixon’s survey set many (maybe, all) of the 84 Mason-Dixon limestone stones along the Tangent Line (western boundary of Delaware south of the Arc Line just south of Newark) in late 1764 and early 1765. Most of these stone still exist and have PIDs, although most were officially monumented between 1961 – 1982.

 

During the 1751-1754 survey of the Transpeninsular Line (southern boundary of Delaware), colonial surveyors set eight gneiss boundary stones. The eastern-most is at 0 miles, and is located at the Fenwick Island lighthouse. The stone supports a disk that is HU1443. The stone at Mile 5 has its own PID, HU1546. The stone at Mile 10 stands on the southern edge of Selbyville, MD, and supports station NORMAN, PID = HU1543. The Mile 15 stone is lost, and has no PID. The Mile 20 stone stands in the graveyard at Line Methodist Church and is PID = HU1686. The Mile 25 stone exists, but it has been moved and now stands alongside the Mile 35 stone; its PID = HU1741 but, technically, it is “DESTROYED”. The Mile 30 stone is lost, and has no PID. The Mile 35 stone exists but it has no PID. It stands in an enclosure with the Mason-Dixon double crown stone at PID = HU1800 and the “destroyed” Mile 25 stone.

 

The three Transpeninsular Stones (HU1546, HU1686 and HU1741) that have PIDs as stones (rather than as things that support disks with PIDs) were set in 1751-1755 but not “monumented” until 1974.

 

See:

HU1443

HU1546

HU1543

HU1686

HU1741,

AND,

HU1800

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My best is from 1846 - I had to go back a few times to find this one. I think it was behind a bush: MY2916

 

Well, for non-intersection stations, my oldest is a unimpressive 1934/5.

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ddgsnipe we have been fortunate enough to find 2 1871 "benchmarks". They are stone monuments (rock cairns).

 

Kanab South Cairn & Shinarump Cairn.

 

The oldest "disks" we have found are both from 1907. One near Tucson, AZ & the other from near Ivanpah, CA.

 

3608 & B 6

 

Enjoy the hunt for the old ones, they are worth the time and effort to find something older than we are. :unsure::unsure:

 

John

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The oldest station we can claim is Sankaty Head Lighthouse, UT0553, first observed 1867. There's a drill hole (PE0892) in Camden, Maine that we are fond of thinking might be older, but its monumentation is UNK and it was finally first described in 1962.

 

Not quite as old, but more fun for us, were a couple on Nantucket that hadn't been reported to NGS since their monumentation. LW4252 was set in 1887, and soon thereafter, we would guess, broken off just below ground level. Its companion marks, LW4184 and LW4151, were reported to NGS in 1909 and 1955 respectively, and it was known that there were three of them. So the south stone's near-destruction must have been pretty early.

 

LW4246 is a much sounder stone that was set in 1887.

 

One that has often been logged here but rarely at NGS is SY2718, in Tacoma. At NGS, set in 1892, found good in 1905 and 2006.

 

Cheers,

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So, I have this opportunity... My sister in Maine has a friend who does lobster boat tours out of Bailey's Island. He may or may not be able to land on some of the islands. So I looked for interesting benchmarks... This one struck my fancy: OC1553. It's an 1854 station. The reference marks might be 1911 or 1933? Disk looks like 1911? The 1854 mark was probably a drill hole. But is the 1911 disk in the 1854 drill hole???

OB0489 is another 1854 drill hole, but the 1911 disk is slisted as 'near an old 3/4 inch drill hole'

OC1527 wouldn't count for the contest, but try keeping me away!

Of course, with my luck, we won't be able to land at any of the islands. Oh, well.

 

Were you able to find them? I was stationed in Brunswick not to far away and am thinking of taking my wife up there for vacation. It would be interesting to try and find them myself.

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Headed for Maine next week. Stay tuned. There are lots of benchmarks on the islands in Casco Bay.

Have fun! Its beatiful up there this time of year. Take plenty of pictures of the benchmarks.

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My oldest find, and I think the oldest actual (original and not reset) mark found in CA is the 1851 chiseled cross Santa Cruz Astro Station

 

It was a thrill to see the actual stone and chiseled cross that was set 154 years ago.

 

I looked up the history of the CGS and found out quite a bit about the surveyor, Davidson. He was an early and prominent figure in the first West Coast surveys (And I now know where Mount Davidson and Davidson Seamount here got their names!).

 

Whistling Wind

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I have observed and photographed several of the Mason and Dixon markers placed on the (wait for it) Mason and Dixon Line between 1769 and 1774. Some of these have been adopted by the NGS and have PID numbers, some do not. The Granddaddy of the US Geological Survey is BUTTERMILK north of New York City. This was placed in 1833 and is like Mecca for Benchmark hunters/Trigpoint Baggers. Many states have benchmarks erected in 1833 after BUTTERMILK's date. I am planning an expedition to observe the one placed in my home state of Kentucky in 1833. Since it has not been observed in many years, it would be a big find for any Benchmark hunter.

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In my top three sub-set list of old, absolutely unique, geodetic marks - just wish that I did not have to drive across North Dakota to get there.

 

My first visit to this 1870 complex on 11 Aug 2011 as I headed into the Apostle Islands for three nights of kayak camping with no tools produced only the two tagged trees and a broken, not documented, Carsonite WP.

 

4f70a2d9-6163-4c5f-a942-fc3969e840c0.jpg

 

The second visit, again via kayak on an absolutely flat lake; and after a lot of head scratching and measuring detected the station, East post (RM 1), and South post (RM 2).

 

1870 USLS DETOUR

 

dfebef73-e16a-4894-8604-72268d7f6e84.jpg

 

West post is gone. kayakbird

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b8a89f0e-aa51-44a4-84d6-611146fc378c.jpg

126503e8-8381-457b-a441-8871f7a058ec.jpg

 

If you look closely you can see U ▲ S carved into the top of the mark with the pin in the center..

ed092000-d34e-494d-9997-e6b1d6b3e2b6.jpg

Edited by Z15

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I've got a spreadsheet with my benchmark finds, but I never thought to include the date monumented.

 

Any ideas about how to identify my oldest marks?

 

Thanks,

-ArtMan-

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I've got a spreadsheet with my benchmark finds, but I never thought to include the date monumented.

 

Any ideas about how to identify my oldest marks?

 

Thanks,

-ArtMan-

 

ArtMan

 

GSAk will work for many, but if the first HISTORY line is 'UNK' it will default to the first 'described by':

 

QO0921 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

QO0921 HISTORY - UNK MONUMENTED MRC

QO0921 HISTORY - 1970 GOOD NGS

QO0921

QO0921 STATION DESCRIPTION

QO0921

QO0921'DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1970

 

kayakbird

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I've got a spreadsheet with my benchmark finds, but I never thought to include the date monumented.

 

Any ideas about how to identify my oldest marks?

 

Thanks,

-ArtMan-

 

..from what I remember of your old stomping grounds - this one will be in the running: 'A' from 1877..

 

50f8a90f-09a7-42b9-8e26-51ca2d1a8a09.jpg

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