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Ernmark

'Buried' Tri-Stations

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Here's one for you:

 

On my short-list of stations to visit soon is this station: KW2852

 

The interesting thing is this -

 

KW2852'THE STATION MARK, A STANDARD DISK STAMPED MOONEY 1960, IS SET IN A

KW2852'DRILL HOLE IN TOP OF BEDROCK WHICH IS ABOUT 20 INCHES BELOW

KW2852'THE SURFACE OF THE GROUND. IT IS 16.6 FEET EAST OF A 12-INCH

KW2852'TRIANGULAR BLAZED OAK TREE AND EDGE OF TIMBER.

KW2852'

KW2852'REFERENCE MARK 1, A STANDARD DISK STAMPED MOONEY NO 1 1960, IS SET IN

KW2852'THE TOP OF A SQUARE CONCRETE MONUMENT WHICH IS FLUSH WITH THE

KW2852'SURFACE OF THE GROUND. IT IS 5.8 FEET SOUTH OF A 12-INCH TRIANGULAR

KW2852'BLAZED OAK TREE AND EDGE OF TIMBER AND IS ABOUT 2.0 FEET

KW2852'HIGHER THAN THE STATION.

KW2852'

KW2852'REFERENCE MARK 2, A STANDARD DISK STAMPED MOONEY NO 2 1960, IS SET IN

KW2852'THE TOP OF A SQUARE CONCRETE MONUMENT WHICH IS FLUSH WITH THE

KW2852'SURFACE OF THE GROUND. IT IS 33.4 FEET EAST OF A 12-INCH TRIANGULAR

KW2852'BLAZED OAK TREE AND EDGE OF TIMBER AND IS ABOUT 2.0 FEET

KW2852'HIGHER THAN THE STATION.

 

..so why would the station be set below ground while the RM's are flush? It sounds like all 3 would not be in the trees. I also read comments here about whether digging down to find it (by GEOCAC) constitutes disruption (being bedrock rather than a mass, I might be inclined to think not...but then I'd expect more 'reluctance' from the land owner if I'm standind there w/ a full-sized shovel instead of a garden trowel when I'd ask).

 

..so question 1 is - why do this?

 

..& question 2 is - would you be inclined to ask to dig for it?

 

(additional background - the hill is currently not wooded, except for a few trees, much like the original description & is basically a hayfield. Also, there is a cell tower a few hundred yards to the east...possibly making the station easier to gain permission to access. All of the other tri-stations in the area are either set in rock or have the standard surface mon./underground mass.)

 

..I'm hoping I'll get there & find it 3" below the ground (remember, the Appalachians were once as high as the Rockies)...or with an unmentioned monument in place flush w/ the surface :lostsignal:

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It is common in my area (as well as others) to set the Station and RMs in concrete monuments. The concrete monuments are anywhere from 24" to 48" long, and often precast. In order to set a precast monument flush with the ground, a hole with a depth equal to the monument must be excavated first. I would imagine that the intent was to place a concrete monument as the station, and bedrock was found at a depth that did not allow the monument to be placed flush. The crew most likely set the cap in the bedrock knowing that 20" of cover would be excellent protection.

 

Unless you're in a sandy area, you should be able to dig a 20" deep hole that is not much wider that the blade of your shovel, with limited surface damage. If it is sandy, your hole may have to be larger. Just ask nicely and be careful.

 

This is GU1617. It was found in a sandy location, set in a round concrete monument, down about 17".

89936903-M.jpg

Link to Big Pic

 

- Kewaneh

Edited by Kewaneh & Shark

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I should defer to the professionals as to why. But, if it's set in a field, depth of soil is good protection from plows and farm implements. Why they would want to put it there is anybody's guess. Zare set 10 inches below a corn field! Sorry, I didnt feel like digging in a cornfield. :lostsignal:Mount Vernon Or .9 meter below someone's lawn.

It does seem to me that a lot of marks set 'flush with the ground' seem to be one or two inches underground when we find them. That also seems to be true for 'set in bed rock'. Oh, well. All part of the fun.

This weekend, I'm looking for one set 4 inches below a lawn, and another 'set flush with the ground' before the road was regraded.

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Some of the older tri-stations were set below ground to safeguard them against plows, since many were located in cultivated fields.

 

There is a local station, LY2619, that sounds similar to your situation, in that there was never a surface mark. In the case of LY2619, the datasheet stated "NO SURFACE MARK WAS SET OWING TO INSUFFICIENT DEPTH OF SOIL." When I found it, there was a partly-filled pit at the site which I cleaned out to find the station.

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I recovered a mark a few weeks ago that was buried 14 inches below the level of the ground. And it was still at 14 inches. 14 inches doesn't seem like much ...... until you start digging by hand!!!!

 

And then I've recovered ones that have stated to be 12 inches below ground and found them at ground level because the surrounding area had been re-landscaped.

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I agree that these seem to have been set primarily on farms and are deep to avoid being hit by equipment. In all cases that I have seen so far (and by "seen" I mean I saw the datasheet--there are not many around me) the RMs are set along a fenceline or some other area that is expected to be undisturbed by farming, thus they are set at ground level. These cases are ones where finding the reference marks is almost required in order to find the station--how many 14 inch deep holes can one dig after all. By the way, I have yet to find one of these buried marks. At the only one I attempted so far I couldn't find even one RM, so I was out of luck. I also didn't have permission to be there so I didn't dare dig. I may go back soon, before spring planting, and ask.

 

I have seen a few datasheets where mention is made that the station was reset and buried at the request of the farmer.

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Every so often you will find a station with a buried surface mark. When I recovered VIENNA, it was in the lawn of a property owner's backyard. He enthusiastically gave permission for me to dig, and then he told me stories of the others who had come to recover the mark. It's always encouraging to meet a cooperative landowner!

 

No matter how deep the surface mark is, I always ask to dig; nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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I managed to get back to my buried mark CHERRY HILL. I asked permission of the Amish landowner and he said, and I quote "Go for it". So I headed up the hill, this time with permission, and from the farm side this time.

 

I knew from the last visit that the reference marks wouldn't be easy to find, or I would have found them on the first visit, so I spent some time with my GPSr zeroing in on the station itself, essentially trying to narrow down the area I would have to search. After I had the general area staked out I poked and prodded a bit, but with the station being 18 inches below ground it was a total shot in the dark and the results were as expected--nothing. After a few minutes of that I decided to pretend that the station was where I had my mark, and head off to find the reference marks, hoping I could find one or both and measure back precisely to the station. So I used compass and tape to measure direction and distance to each reference mark in turn. Neither was where I measured, which wasn't unexpected since my initial point for the station was an estimate that was probably only within about a 10 foot circle or so.

 

I ran the metal detector along the division line between the crops. I guessed this was the fenceline the first time I was here and the farmer confirmed that it was where the fence had been. He said there were a couple of fenceposts remaining but I saw no evidence of them. After quite a bit of sweeping I was almost ready to give up, but I remeasured and re-directioned and started sweeping again. Even taking the lack of accuracy of my Wal-Mart compass, the distance and direction combination put me past the fenceline every time I measured. So in semi-desperation I started sweeping about 1-2 feet into the neighboring property. After a few minutes I got a hit and quickly dug about an inch of dirt off the first reference mark. I quickly measured for the second mark and did the same, getting a hit pretty quickly now that I was in the right area. I dug for that one and found what looked like concrete or stone, but no disk. I realized the post was knocked over and pressed into the ground and dug the nearly sideways disk out.

 

Now, knowing that one disk was shifted, and not so sure about the other one, I used tape and compass again to measure BACK to the underground station. After a bit of careful work, I had my spot and some probing with a metal rod showed that something was there. I was very lucky because the soil was soft, and there were no rocks at all in it. This is typical Lancaster County farmland--some of the best in the country. I probed around the hard spot to find the center and then started digging.

 

Up to this point I was pretty smart. I had done my homework, asked permission and was now ready to dig. But wait, where was my shovel? At home of course. So out came the camp shovel, which stays with my hunting "kit" at all times. 18 inches is a long way to dig with a folding camp shovel, but 24 is even more, as that is how deep the mark actually was. Luckily the soil was very soft. I ended up using a plastic trowel and my hands after the hole got too deep to maneuver the shovel. While digging I hit two pieces of chain with plastic marker tape around them, obviously put there by a previous finder to help in the location. I am not sure how pink survey tape ages underground--I know it only lasts a couple of years out in the sun and air, but this stuff looked new. The farmer had said nobody had looked for it recently, but maybe they did so without permission. I think the bits of chain may be for magnetic detection, but there was no recent recovery and therefore nobody would know that they could use magnetic equipment to find the mark (my understanding is that such equipment works to much greater depth than metal detectors).

 

I walked down to the farm and asked the farmer if he wanted to see the mark. In typical Amish fashion he had no interest in it. They typically do not have the curiosity of non-Amish (they call us "English"). I am sure he filed the information away and if someone else comes along looking for it he will tell them that it is definitely there and underground. It will be up to them to find it, just like it was to me. (That sounds like he was less than helpful, but that isn't true. If he had known anything about it he would have walked up with me and shown me what he knew, or told me.)

 

Finally, I went back to the mark, buried it and left. I was lucky the field was planted in a winter rotation of rye grass and not a money crop, or I would have had to wait until fall!

 

Shorbird...Yep, permission is always warranted. I always ask for permission when on private property and have never been refused, even when it meant digging in someone's yard. Like you, I usually end up with the homeowner as interested as I am. One dug three holes to help me find all the marks of a tri-station, aoother sent his son off for a shovel and told me about when the mark was set and there was a tower on top of it.

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Nice recovery. Good job. Yep, always worth asking. I've been "oil fielding" lately. Never refused permision. After some explanations, one manager asked me to pass on that future finders should be real surveyors, not "volunteers". I have so noted that request in my GC logs.

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama

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Thanks for the support guys.

 

Now I can add my second buried mark story, one that happened the same day and while interesting from a people and search perspective, it was less so from the point of view known as "finding the station", which didn't occur.

 

Flushed with my success at CHERRY HILL, I headed up another farm lane later in the day to look for NINE RESET near the town of Nine Points (I have not been able to find any information on the origin of the name. New and historical maps don't indicate anywhere near nine roads heading into the town, so that doesn't seem to be it). Again, it was an Amish farm, and I talked to who I thought was the owner, but later turned out to be the son. He looked at me oddly when I told him what I wanted to do, then walked with me to where my GPSr said the mark would be, in the middle of a large, recently tilled-but-not-yet-planted garden. I asked if he minded if I dug and he said ok, then watched me a few minutes and finally headed back to the barn where he was working.

 

A little background on NINE RESET. The mark was originally set on top of a hill in a larger farm. The existing farm had been built in 1976 and had disturbed the area significantly. There were no buildings left from the 1966 recovery, and there were new buildings to contend with. The mark was just 14 inches underground after all and the area was tilled.

 

I decided to use the time-honored "walk around" technique, letting the GPSr show me, on average, where it thought the station was. It isn't the best tactic but I had little else to go on. After finding and setting a point I thought was close to where the station was, I proceeded to look for the close reference mark by measuring to about where it should have been. It wasn't evident on the surface so i used my metal detector to sweep a wide area where I thought it could be. I found a crushed Coke can.

 

So back so the station area with my probe, a 2 foot metal camp fork from Wal-Mart with the tines broken off. This little item has proven hugely successful over time and was my only underground search implement for about a year when I started hunting. Quickly I got a hit and started digging. In spite of being recently plowed, the dirt was hard, and extremely rocky, countering the soft soil I had found previously and making me wonder about the whole "Garden Spot" (of the nation) moniker of the Lancaster area. Certainly this particular garden didn't live up to that namesake. I attacked the area with my camp shovel, digging out small rock after small rock and creating quite a pile of dirt beside me. Then I decided to use the metal detector. A hit! I probed and hit something hard about 2 inches down, and dug further. More metal detecting, and still it beeped. Another probe, and I hit something about 2 inches down. What was up? Each time I dug down to the hard thing, it seemed to disappear.

 

Time for plan B, or maybe even C. I was losing track of my plans, as well as decent light. And the day was turning cooler. Maybe the second reference mark would be of value. I didn't remotely think it would still exist. It was 100 METERS away after all (who's idea was THAT?) and across a farm path. Well, there was a paved road about 300 feet away. Could THAT be the old farm path, paved after 40 years. I got out my 50 meter tape, stuck the end in the garden and headed off in the direction of the reference mark. Before I even got to the end of the first 50 meters I noticed that in the yard of the house across the road was what looked like it could be a disk monument sticking up about 4 inches. Eagerly I headed towards it. Sure enough, it was the reference mark, well cared for and in the yard. My measurement turned out to be about 15 cm off, so back I headed to re-establish my point.

 

Standing where the new point was, I used my compass to measure the angle, taking declination into account. Still, at that distance, even the tiniest of error could mean FEET of difference, but I still started digging as soon as I had a stable reading. Same deal as before.

 

Remeasure the 100 meters. Why? I don't know. I was out of ideas. I also measured the angle FROM the reference mark to see if it pointed to the same place. It did, pretty much, within about 3 feet.

 

This time I met a guy parking a truck at the house. When I traipsed back across the field he walked beside me, clearly headed to the house. This is where the day started to get interesting, despite the lack of any benchmark finding-ness. First, time for more "background", this time on the Amish. While there are many sects, or "orders" of Amish, for the most part they follow a few simple tenants. The first is their devotion to God and the bible. They also eschew modern things that interfere with their simple life and would make them stray from God. This means no electricity, no phones, no cars, no motor vehicles of any kind and no tobacco use. They wear simple clothing without adornment, hats, and married men have beards. So who was this guy walking towards the farm? I asked him about the mark, and he said he remembered it from a while ago, and that they had hit it while plowing, but he had no idea where it was. So that made him part of the family--I suspect he was the brother of the first man I talked to. Yet he had just driven his TRUCK here and was dressed distinctly un-Amish. I went back to my digging efforts for a while.

 

Measurement number three to the reference mark. Don't ask why--I think I was just totally out of ideas. On this trip I heard what I knew was a bobwhite, despite never having heard one before. I followed the sound and saw the bird in a cage attached to a shed behind the barn. The shed door was open so I peeked in to see if there were more critters inside. Nope, but there WAS a phone and notepad. More non-Amish curiosities!

 

Dig some more. I now had dug at least five holes in this horribly rocky garden (question to self--what on earth could GROW in this mess?), had hundreds of hits on the metal detector and with the probe. I guess the rocks were actually metallic. I didn't find anything else that would have set off the detector.

 

A van pulls up and an older man and woman get out. They both say "hi" to me, as if seeing some guy digging in their garden is normal. I say to the man "I am looking for a survey mark". "You're in the wrong spot", he says, and goes inside. After a couple of minutes he comes back out and tells me it is farther west than I am standing. He said he remembered hitting it with the plow and it was definitely about 15 feet from where I was standing. I try to explain that my technology couldn't be that wrong but he just looks at me. I realize I am not going to get anywhere with that approach. So I follow him to where he thinks the mark is. Good news--he may be right. One of my earliest holes was very close to the spot he thinks it is. Bad news--I didn't find anything in that hole. While we talk, and by that I mean "he talked" because he talked a lot, he lit a cigarette. Interesting, the Amish don't smoke.

 

After talking to him for about 20 minutes, and as the light faded, I decided to throw in the towel and call it a day. My hands were sore, my pants filthy, I was beat, and, yes, beaten. I had learned the history of the property from him, which might help me when I return. I also learned that he was going to disc the area and plant the next day, so my window for hunting in his garden is over. I said I would return in the fall, and took my leave.

 

What did I learn? Probably nothing I can put to any good use! But I saw an Amish man who smoked, and an Amish man who lived the life of a non-Amish in the day and went back to his family at night. I confirmed the rumor that many Amish have phones in secret places, a practice officially frowned upon but often overlooked in practicality--they often need them to do business with the outside world, they just don't have them too handy to use for vain purposes such as chat. I saw an Amish car (truck). It was black, which was probably a nod to being less intrusive, and I am sure it was parked at the neighbor's house to avoid obvious detection and to make sure it wasn't too handy. At the same time, the kids of the Amish family played in the yard, amusing themselves with almost no toys, something I never could think of my children doing. A complete enigma, both within this extended family, and when compared to our fast-paced high-tech lives. It was a peaceful and informative afternoon, and in retrospect, well spent.

 

THIS is why I hunt benchmarks!

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..nice view from CHERRY HILL ...I'm guessing that will be the situation I encounter w/ the station I originally referred to (as soon as the person I need to obtain permission from returns from vacation).

 

..speaking of surface/underground marks - here's a case in point as to why it is good to have them either underground to begin with or to have both: BANK 2. This one had the station & both reference marks pulled out & tossed into a neat little pile all w/in 24" of each other (probably a good dozen or more years ago) - here it seems unusual in that these monuments weren't very massive in order to protect them from being disturbed...can't figure out if the bank was cut back again & they were set aside to be submitted for destruction (as was the original station), or the farmer just got tired of hitting them w/ the plow..

 

Most of the monuments I've seen for tri-stations at/above ground level have much larger & more stable settings...

 

Edit - #12 popped in while I was correcting typos etc ....I'm thinking this has 'screenplay' written all over it ! <_< ...'Nine Reset' is even a good working title! (or Witness Post II)

Edited by Ernmark

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...I headed up another farm lane later in the day to look for NINE RESET near the town of Nine Points (I have not been able to find any information on the origin of the name. New and historical maps don't indicate anywhere near nine roads heading into the town, so that doesn't seem to be it).

You got me wondering, too. According to an 1883 history of Bart Township, it was due to "the convergence of several roads at that point", although I don't see nine either, even on the 1864 township maps. I looked in some county histories online, but they barely mentioned Nine Points at all.

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Shorelander,

What GREAT resources! I searched for Nine Points on the web and came up with nothing. I guess it pays to be a geneology nut.

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Rehashing the Surface/Underground mark scenario - this one is interesting:

 

KW3112 STATION DESCRIPTION

KW3112

KW3112'DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1934 (JB)

KW3112'STATION IS ABOUT 6-1/2 MILES NE OF DAUPHIN ON A HIGH POINT ON THIRD

KW3112'MOUNTAIN. IT HAD BEEN MOVED FROM WHERE THE RECONNAISSANCE

KW3112'DESCRIPTION CALLED FOR IT TO BE. THE DESCRIPTION WAS VAGUE AND THE

KW3112'TRAIL WAS NOT MARKED. IT IS ON THE TOP OF THE RIDGE ON TOP OF THE

KW3112'THIRD KNOLL ALONG THE TOP OF THE RIDGE FROM THE TRAIL LEADING UP THE

KW3112'MOUNTAIN.

KW3112'

KW3112'STATION MARK IS A STANDARD BRONZE DISK SET IN A BOULDER WHICH IS 4 BY

KW3112'10 INCHES AND 4 FEET IN LENGTH. THE DISK IS SET IN A DRILL HOLE IN

KW3112'THE TOP OF THE BOULDER WHICH PROJECTS 4 INCHES ABOVE THE SURFACE OF

KW3112'THE GROUND. THERE IS A 30-FOOT WOODEN SIGNAL HERE WHICH WILL BE

KW3112'LEFT STANDING AS IT WILL ENDURE WEATHER AND BE USEFUL FOR FUTURE

KW3112'SURVEYS.

KW3112'

KW3112'UNDERGROUND MARK IS A STANDARD BRONZE DISK SET IN CONCRETE.

 

...if the underground mark is supposed to be directly under the surface mark - it would almost seem that the boulder would almost have to ba a ledge !

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Rehashing the Surface/Underground mark scenario - this one is interesting:

 

...if the underground mark is supposed to be directly under the surface mark - it would almost seem that the boulder would almost have to ba a ledge !

 

Is it Possible that the boulder was imported and placed above the underground mark?

 

I have seen at least one tri station in my area where this was done.

 

Evidenced by the boulder not being of a type that would be native to the immediate area of the station.

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..hadn't thought of that. All of the mtn. top stations I've seen in my area have been mounted on exposed bedrock or on concrete monuments. Based on the size of the boulder described, if it's the whole boulder & not just the exposed portion, it could've been 'portable'...

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You bring up my nemesis, KW3112 ELLENDALE, which I have visited but not found, and plan to visit again this weekend. And find!

 

I tend to agree with t8r on this one. The top of this mountain is strewn with flat boulders, not surprising since the valley below it is called Stony Valley, all of which could be the candidate boulder. I am pretty sure the mark was set in one of the boulders and it was moved to be over the underground mark, although where they could have found a spot to dig is beyond me. Take a look at the pics--the mountain top is truly ALL rocks, big ones, little ones, ledges, etc.

 

It is my understanding, arrived purely on my own from reading datasheets and seeing the stations they describe, is that a LEDGE is a big bit of rock that is attached permanently to the world and a BOULDER is a bit of rock that has been set free and can be moved somehow. I would think that a ledge would be more stable than a boulder but who am I to second guess the setting parties? And I always pictured boulders as being roundish,

but I think that is just because the word sounds round. There are no round rocks/boulders on top of Third Mountain!

 

Re-reading the description, for perhaps the 20th time, I just realized that the mark is set IN A BOULDER WHICH IS 4 BY 10 INCHES AND 4 FEET IN LENGTH. I spent a lot of time looking for a 10 inch by 4 foot rock but after some further reflection I think I may need to look for a 4 by 10 INCH rock that has been buried nearly 4 feet, with just the small top projecting from the ground. The base would sit on the underground mark. I have seen this sort of thing before, i.e. KW2992 BARRY 1885, but the stone set in the ground there was carried to the site and is a square post of granite.

 

What will I be looking for this weekend? Who knows!? The most majorest problem is that almost every surface on the top of that hill is covered by dirt and moss, so nothing will be obvious at all. I will be packing my metal detector to help.

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...the description also mentions that the 30' tower was left behind..it'll be interesting to see if any of it remains....and then there's the old stage road sign.. We'll enjoy reading about your exploit!

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I was hoping to find remnants of that tower but didn't see anything at all when I was there the first time. My GPSr was acting wacky but I don't think it was THAT bad--I think I was in the general area at least. There was definitely no "tower" as such. Maybe some rotted wood, but I didn't see that either.

 

I traced the original to reach on a number of maps as well as Google Earth and am pretty sure I won't be using any of it. I am positive it heads up the hill way to the west of where I intend to head up, which will most likely be exactly where I did last time. I think the old "stage road" is almost gone, or maybe totally gone!

 

Although the climb is difficult and very rocky, at least I marked my entry point and the point where I managed to get on top of the ridge. Since there was a 10-15 foot cliff along south edge the ridge for at least a couple of hundred feet I feel I was lucky to find a gap in it and was able to scramble up. I don't want to play with fate and end up walking along the side of the cliff for hundreds of yards only to find that my original way was the best way after all.

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