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The Initial Point Geocoin


Rattlingcrew

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I was going to wait until I had these in hand to announce them, but I was pretty excited when I got the proof photo today.

 

The face of the coin is a duplicate of the manhole cover that covers the red rock that was originally the Initial Point. What is the Initial Point you ask?

 

In 1854 the Kansas Nebraska act was passed, setting forth a system for the settlement of the plains states. Up until that time, everything west of Missouri was open territory, no land owners, no laws, nothing remotely resembling civilization.

 

The 40th N. Latitude was selected as the baseline boundary between the Kansas and Nebraska Territory. Before the plains could be settled, a survey system needed to be set up. Charles A. Manners set forth to survey this line, that we now know as the Kansas Nebraska border. He surveyed across the Missouri River into what is now the north east corner of Kansas and set a 640 pound cast iron marker on a bluff, overlooking the Missouri River. That marker is known as the Point of Origin or Point of Beginning.

 

Manners surveyed west 108 miles along the 40th N. Latitude in 1855 and 1856. The survey team came and went, conditions were very harsh in an inhospitable prairie. They had several skirmishes with the Native Americans. Manners had to be an incredibly dedicated individual to take on this project and complete it like he did.

 

When they reached the 6th Principle Meridian, he buried a non-native red sand stone in the center of a wagon wheel. That red sand stone marked the Initial Point for the survey of Kansas, Nebraska, Parts of S. Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming.

 

All land ownership records throughout the system refer to the Initial Point, a red sand stone buried in 1856. The system of townships, roads, and ranges throughout these states was surveyed off of this rock.

 

The collective surveyor's associations from these five states decided to try to recover the original red sand stone. They found it exactly where it should be, only it was in the middle of a two lane dirt road with very little gravel. They recovered it on June 11, 1987....131 years to the day after it had been set.

 

After recovering the Initial point, they set in a manhole tube and paved about 60 feet of the road to keep the tube from being destroyed by traffic on the roadway. They designed the manhole cover that I used for the face of the coin to cap the tube. The cover includes Nebraska on the north, Kansas on the south, 6 P. M. for the 6th Principle Meridian and 40th N. Lat for the obvious.

 

There are some oddities that we incorporated into the coin. Instead of using a W letter for west, they used an upside down M letter. The side of the cover has an indent to pry the cover out of the tube and an alignment hole. We also incorporated those into the coin. Those of you that like to attach a travel bug tag to your coins, this one has a hole in it you can use for that.

 

The BLM set a benchmark in the historic rock. One would think that a rock that had served for over 100 years as a benchmark would be good enough. The BLM saw other wise and set a marker. They used the number 1 for the letter I and misspelled Initial, it is INITAL in the benchmark.

 

They also center punched the benchmark twice, obviously missing the mark once. The benchmark is listed as a cadastral survey marker. I thought they had a spelling error. When I looked up Cadastral, I found the following definition:

 

"a survey relating to land boundaries and subdivisions, which is made to create units suitable for the transfer of or to define the limitations of a title; surveys of the public lands of the US, including retracement surveys for the identification of and resurveys for the restoration of property lines; and for corresponding surveys outside the public lands, although such surveys are usually termed land surveys"

 

I thought they had misspelled Coastal, but it turns out they need more credit than I was giving them. We tried to duplicate the Cadastral Survey marker as closely as we could and it is on the back of the coin, at the bottom. The back also gives a short history of the Initial point and has a simulated rock that the benchmark is set in.

 

The coin just has the west coordinates as common sense should prevail for the north coordinates. They will have an icon and are trackable, of course.

 

I had to go to a 3" coin to get the history on the back of the coin. We tried a 2" coin and the print was just too small. Freight from the mint was close to 600 dollars, so they must be fairly hefty. They are 5mm thick. I ordered them in four colors, 150 black nickel, because the cover was black cast iron, 150 antique brass because the Geodetic Center coins came out so nice, 100 copper and 100 antique copper. A total of 500 coins. There will be no limited edition or higher costs for any one color.

 

When I get the final costs figured out and they are in hand, I will post again. I am expecting them to be in the same range as the Geodetic Center coins.

 

A three inch coin is huge, just take a ruler and a two inch coin and add an inch. An inch does not sould like much. Wrapping one to protect it and putting it in a 000 mailer appears to be a tight fit, so I ordered the next size larger mailer.

 

Now I am playing the hurry up and wait game. :laughing:

 

Glen

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That's a big 'ole coin.

 

That is a big 'ole coin for sure. We think the first 3" geocoin. I know there have been some one off coins out there, but these should be the first coin larger than 2 inches offered. You probably will not see many in micro caches! I kind of like that idea... :laughing: Glen

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I guess I better get my pre pre-order order in, too :wub: I'll definitely want a couple of these, and maybe one of each metal. A lot will depend upon the final price; the ol' budget is getting a bit tight, and we gotta start thinking about Christmas, what with five grandkids, and all :rolleyes::ph34r: No, I don't think they'll want any of these :laughing:

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When they reached the 6th Principle Meridian...

Slightly meta, but is that the correct spelling of "principal/principle"? I would think that "princial", meaning primary, would make more sense in the context than "principle", meaning a rule or guideline.

 

I checked Google (which is of course the ultimate authority on all things) and found both versions in official-looking documents, sometimes both in the same document. :blink: (I ask only because I see that the "principle" spelling is used on the coin...)

 

dave

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Unfortunately for me, you would be correct and I fear it is too late to change the coin. I will contact Rusty and see if it is indeed too late. Somewhere in the myriad of revisions, it got switched. Thanks for the good eye though. I/we may have to live with it. Glen

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And here I had a nice explanation all typed up, only to find that you've already replied! Well, heck, I'm going to print it, anyway! No sense letting my golden prose go to waste! :blink::huh:

 

When they reached the 6th Principle Meridian...

Slightly meta, but is that the correct spelling of "principal/principle"? I would think that "princial", meaning primary, would make more sense in the context than "principle", meaning a rule or guideline.

 

I checked Google (which is of course the ultimate authority on all things) and found both versions in official-looking documents, sometimes both in the same document. :D (I ask only because I see that the "principle" spelling is used on the coin...)

Yah know, this is a great question. The correct spelling is "principal" (the original plaque, a photograph of which was posted on a different thread, has the correct spelling), but as you pointed out, "principle" is sometimes used, often because the people drawing up the documents didn't know which to use, so they would trade off between them. Kind of like "capitol" and "capital": the first is the building where the business of government is conducted; the second is the city where the first is located. But how many times have you read something like, "The Capitol of Texas is Austin", or "Most State Capital buildings have golden domes." To most people, neither sentence looks at all strange, but both use the wrong spelling. Blame it on public education :blink:

 

Anyway, while it certainly would be nice if this could be corrected, I'm not going to let it bother me if it can't. I'll just fill in the two offending letters and re-engrave the proper ones! :huh::)

Edited by chaosmanor
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I just got official word back, it is too late. I see that I also spelled it Principle in my history on the original post. From now on, it will be yet another object for my friends to poke a little fun at me with. :blink: I did the proof reading and even had a few other cachers and some non-cachers read it, none of us caught it. One would think that after being up there three times to make sure everything was accurate, I would have caught that. Nobody is at fault here, except myself of course. Glen

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When the time comes to list them for sale, I will contact everybody that posts on this thread first, then post the new for sale thread. I have not been to the post office with these yet and do not have a per coin weight, but I am pretty sure $12.00 US per coin, freight included will have them covered.

 

If there is enough interest down the line, I would like to have a solid brass coin done. I am sure the initial cost and the freight would be higher for those. Suspenders required before filling your pocket to go caching...... :blink: Anyway, thanks all for your interest in the coins. Glen

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I just got official word back, it is too late. I see that I also spelled it Principle in my history on the original post... Nobody is at fault here, except myself of course.

Get out the wet noodles, folks!! 40 lashes from each of us ought to teach the varmint a lesson :D:D

 

BTW: I definitely still want some :(

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