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Unusual benchmark thread

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Post pictures of your unusual benchmarks. I'm new at this so let's see other markers besides disks or even unusual disks. I don't know if this is a local thing or not. It's JX2328, described as "A ONE INCH BRASS PIN SURROUNDED BY A 2 INCH BY 2 INCH BRASS PLATE WITH M.R.R. EL. CAST IN IT."

 

MR122LAbenchmark.jpg

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I cant believe I've found my people. We're kinda new to caching, but not new to finding benchmarks. We're just two simple surveyors from the shores of Jersey. That's a cool marker for a bench. Do you think the R.R. stands for railroad? Maybe it was some sort of construction control. I'm looking forward to sharing stories and pictures with all of you who frequent this forum.

 

One time is Washington Twp. in upstate New Jersey we were looking for a NGS Mon. in the middle of town. The boulevard had recently been renovated and brick sidewalks were added. After determining that the buildings that were used to tie down the mon. were the ones that still remained, we pulled the tie distances and it put us right in the middle of the new paver sidewalk. Crap, I thought, I know I'm gonna get arrested for this one. So I started pulling up bricks and digging up dirt. Presto.... there she was. Always stay determined, and always be DRIVEN UNTIL REFUSAL.

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It's one of a series of benchmarks placed by Hartman Associates in Rivesville, WV in 1989. Two are plates like that on railroad bridges, two are regular disks one on a culvert and one on a highway bridge and one is a chisled square in a cemetery.

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Strange benchmarks?

KV3460 Sorry, but I think this is strange. A bolt in a utility pole? For one thing, it is against state law. :(

 

That looks alot like the square headed bolt I found on a trestle. This disc probably isn't rare but it's the first one I've seen. It's JX0025 a Pennsylvania Dept. of Highways disk:

 

JX0025.jpg

Edited by 89SC

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It's one of a series of benchmarks placed by Hartman Associates in Rivesville, WV in 1989. Two are plates like that on railroad bridges, two are regular disks one on a culvert and one on a highway bridge and one is a chisled square in a cemetery.

 

I'm not a "PRO" at this but pretty sure the M.R.R. is for MONONGAHELA Rail Road.

 

The EL might be for elevated (R/R bridge).

After a little research I've confirmed my first statement.

exert from web-site

http://www.railroadiana.org/info/pgMarkings.php

In some instances the task is relatively easy. Many initials are, for all practical purposes, unique and unambiguous. For example, "P.R.R." was the marking of the Pennsylvania Railroad and "G.N. Ry" was the Great Northern Railway. Other markings can be very ambiguous. Case in point: In the early 1900's two railroads with the same initials -- Monongahela Railroad and Montour Railroad -- operated in the same little corner of Western Pennsylvania. Both were coal-hauling roads, both used the marking "M.R.R.", and the evidence suggests that both even used similar equipment, for example, Dietz "Vesta" lanterns. The Monongahela Railroad was reorganized in 1915 and changed its name to "Railway" (abbreviated "Ry.") but items dating before this point in time cannot be attributed to one railroad versus the other, even if found in Western Pennsylvania. The task is complicated by the fact that other railroads in other parts of the country had these same initials, so an item marked as such can be anybody's guess.

Nice find. I always like the BM's near RR's

Bullionhunter

Edited by bullionhunter

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It's one of a series of benchmarks placed by Hartman Associates in Rivesville, WV in 1989. Two are plates like that on railroad bridges, two are regular disks one on a culvert and one on a highway bridge and one is a chisled square in a cemetery.

 

I'm not a "PRO" at this but pretty sure the M.R.R. is for MONONGAHELA Rail Road.

 

 

The railroad that the marks are on does run along the Monongahela River. One goes over Paw Paw Creek which empties into the Mon a few hundred feet away.

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Another unusual type of mark is found at the base of the Washington Monument. HV8076 is one of several, small-diameter stainless steel tubes set into the stone.

 

From the 1984 description:

 

THE MARK CONSIST OF A 1-INCH DIAMETER BY 3.5 INCHES LONG STAINLESS STEEL PIPE

SET IN THE WALL, AND A STAINLESS STEEL SCREW PLUG, SCREWED INTO THE PIPE AND

FLUSH WITH THE WALL. THE POINT FOR WHICH THE ELEVATION IS GIVEN IS EQUIDISTANCE

FROM THE TOP OF THE PIPE AND THE TOP OF THE PLUG. (A HORIZONTAL LINE BETWEEN

THE TOPS OF THE TWO VISIBLE CIRCLES.) FOR PRECISE LEVELING SURVEYS, THE PLUG

IS UNSCREWED AND A SPECIAL STAINLESS STEEL BOLT IS INSERTED IN THE PIPE FOR

THE REFERENCE POINT.

 

I wonder if this may be more for monitoring possible changes in the Washington Monument, rather than for geodetic or conventional surveying purposes.

 

-ArtMan-

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Yep the one's in the Washington Monument are cool.

I think they are for checking Elevation changes.

I think that is the reason for them and the CASEY Marks there.

 

And then the Precicion Work from DaveD when setting the GPS on top.

 

I think EL is the same as ELEV.

Elevation.

But the coolest is the Meridian Stone in the Center of the Elipse.

The Brass plug is pretty cool looking but I did not get a picture of it.

Just the Stone.

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Here's a traverse station set by the North Carolina Department of Transportation

It's pretty small compared to other disks, and is not in the NGS database.

Stamping reads "BL-1"

 

2073060279_c7e07ee621.jpg

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This mark was set by the Town of Holly Springs, inside a metal access cover near AI7028

Also a smaller-sized disk, and not in the NGS database.

Stamping reads "CAMPBELL 27"

 

2073060283_55d2559285.jpg

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Ok, one more. This one was set by the City of Raleigh in the curb near EZ5109

This was about half the size of a regualr disk, also not in the NGS database.

Stamping reads "228"

 

2073060285_e8bb996379_m.jpg

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Here's my contribution to unusual BMs: Surveyor's Mark

 

It travels around, and is on its second voyage to Wyoming. Here is a pic from the first journey at the Mile-High Marker in Denver.

 

8b965eaf-68e9-402e-bfe1-f3fa6465dd65.jpg

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I actually thought this thread was about unusual markers, not unusual styles of disk. But I'll go with the flow with this one. Don't you just love the weirdly attractive design?

35435_100.jpg

Station 9 E (HV4510) was placed by the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation (PADC), which was created in 1972 to oversee the rehabilitation of "America's Main Street" between the Capitol and the White House, an area which had become quite run down over the years. They did a marvelous job, with the notable exception of the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, which is one of the great blights of our nation's capital. I didn't realize until now that there is a Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Park comprising the area.

 

-ArtMan-

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A couple of New York City specialties

 

The first is a disk set on a school in the Bronx in 1909 in the first city-wide leveling. which superseded many independent and incompatible schemes then in use. Then in 1952, it was "appropriated" by the CGS when they ran a level line through the area and was given a standard designation. These disks (of which fewer than 10-15 survive) are the only disks that I am aware of specifically used by and for New York City. The agency (abbreviated "BD OF EST. AND AP.") Is the "Board of Estimate and Apportionment".

 

KU1002 "V 340"

The first photo is the disk in question (note the overstamping), and the second is a pristine example of this type of disk (from the Grand Army Plaza memorial in Brooklyn).

 

91166814-3423-4e9c-9077-478af0fc2830.jpg...226283b9-9a8f-46ff-ab37-f6e891241375.jpg

 

The other specialty is a CSG bolt used in the 1903 triangulation of New York City. The documentation refers to these as the "Regular U.S.C. and G.S. Brass Marking Bolt", but I have never heard of them used elsewhere, and this is the only one I've found intact (yes I've looked very hard).

 

KU3315 "Forest Park"

 

c6d6ac9b-59d6-4cec-997a-57bef0bffdff.jpg

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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Unusual CGS disks

 

Although a typical CGS disk is hardly unusual, these are types I have only seen one of in my benchmarking.

 

The first is stamped as a "Traverse Station" although the station was definately a triangulation station. I assume it's just what they had in their kit back when it was set in 1930.

 

KU4047 "Forest"

 

The stamping "TRAVERSE STATION" is at the top. Sorry, you'll have to read it upside down!

 

6db56fca-7974-4b9b-9ed7-1deb94b35ac9.jpg

(click for larger image)

 

The next is a Tidal Bench Mark. But unlike every other one I've found (which are invariably stamped "BENCH MARK"), this one is stamped "HYDROGRAPHIC STATION" - and to make it more interesting, they overstamped the word "LEVEL" on top of the word "HYDROGRAPHIC". If this were a stamp, it would be worth millions :D (Think inverted Airmail).

 

LX1097 "TIDAL 3"

 

550036d9-653e-452a-8034-cd6426eb251e.jpg

(click for larger image)

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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Here's my contribution to unusual BMs: Surveyor's Mark

 

It travels around, and is on its second voyage to Wyoming. Here is a pic from the first journey at the Mile-High Marker in Denver.

 

8b965eaf-68e9-402e-bfe1-f3fa6465dd65.jpg

 

When did they set that one?

Actually the 5280 FT mark is the 13th step up.

Just above

KK0360 W 1

 

This one is a little different.

012bd7ad-aa7c-4760-87d1-adcc0389667e.jpg

 

And of course my Favorite My Hometown Benchmark.

d2cc9030-8e3c-4d25-9683-e61a7e217e8e.jpg

Edited by GEO*Trailblazer 1

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Man, I could go on and on. Although I haven't been the most rigorous benchmarker, I've been lucky to be in a relatively un-benchmarked area - and to have traveled since I've started.

 

First, to repost the MI-OH-IN tristate mark:

edc80d20-590f-40ff-8b6a-c0d2431c4636.jpg

 

I got to the center of population of Massachusetts, in a high school field:

55427590-7a4f-48b3-ad33-886c22a79d84.jpg

 

I found a very jury-rigged mark in Concord:

12101bfc-de14-4cd2-9c98-9cbb2bc1006c.jpg

 

I've spent a good deal of time looking for Boston CPB disks (aided by the report):

955fa03b-588d-4168-9c65-60be15c943ae.jpg

 

And, it seems, during WWII, C&GS used really plain disks like MY0045 (I've seen two other examples on the Massachusetts coast):

a7d7aae4-7056-4f5c-aec3-dd7e650d2657.jpg

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Unusual; benchmark disks. Hmmm.... Now you've got me looking through the 600 or so that I've found for unusual disks.

I've found a few PADH (PennDot) disks. They are unusual! And I'll agree with PapaBear on Prospect. That one is unique. And I'm still searching for the elusive U.S. Harbor Lines disks. They all seem to have been removed.

Others may have found some of these, but I think they're unusual:

e1a8de01-0dfc-437c-8586-2cf1961a9ebd.jpg

JU4311

5b13a8d4-b315-49fc-8ca6-2b42130dc978.jpg

KV0123

9f13fb72-e1dc-4aee-be37-4b6f1b02b52f.jpgKV0436

6fded06c-79dc-4d03-a71f-895e7338945d.jpg

KU1612

6ad29199-c3db-4ffd-a9ba-ed28751aa3d5.jpg

LW2551

d4ddd487-a836-4a1a-9ff5-68b15ade7f52.jpg

KV1400

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Here's two of the strangest marks I've found:

 

The first, RP0048, is the corner of a plaque on a rock. The pictures are not mine. I didn't bother taking my own since seventhings' were much better.

 

The second is an iron ring in rubber ashpalt:

5435f7e7-5b8f-4b5a-adce-7e37fb130462.jpg

RP0041

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Here's some unusual (and old) ones from my (with 2OldFarts & Fossilady) recent trip to Laughlin:

 

FS1100 Von Schmidt Iron post (1873)

0747b57c-4b54-4e0d-ba27-6c011d373b10.jpg

 

FS1133 House (1899) - First recovery since then

9b28bc9b-bee1-4bb1-bd74-5b95ed09f471.jpg

 

FS1137 - T136 High (1899) - Another First recovery [that was a heck of a weekend - there were more]

62d79abb-33b6-4406-b279-964e5f969492.jpg

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama

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I have found a bunch of odd ones, but only two came to mind quickly and were ones I could remember how to find on the website.

 

f85d811b-4d32-4889-b64a-8888db95e49b.jpg

JV0073is a mark near the Holtwood Dam in south central PA. The amount of stamping on it is pretty amazing. I think that this is a reference mark to JV0074, which was located on a bridge about 100 feet away. The wall JV0074 was in has disintegrated and fallen apart and the mark was on the piece that fell off (it has since been removed). Perhaps when JV0073 was set the bridge was already in poor repair and the new mark was set as a precaution. From the amount of dirt I had to remove to get it, nobody has bothered with it in decades. PWPCO. PWP Co refers to the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company. which was created to build and operate this dam and at least one other on the Susquehanna River. The dam is now operated by a subsidiary of PPL. The Holtwood Dam is 3/4 of a mile down river from this mark.

 

Another is 9c68dd1e-80ea-4fed-aad9-93f7282f06a0.jpg

KX2201, the reference mark for an astronomical mark in Altoona, PA. This is the largest benchmark I have ever seen, at least that was ONLY a benchmark. I wish the astronomical mark was still there however, as it would have been an even better find. Apartments stand where the astro mark would be.

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U. S. Light House Service disk

 

Here's a unique one (as far as I know). It's a U.S. Light House Service disk set in front of an old historic fort at the end of Throgs Neck, in the Bronx, NY. Unfortunately the picture is not great and the disk itself was rather difficult to read. The mark itself was disturbed and perhaps unusable since the concrete post it was on was no longer plumb.

 

The other neat thing is that there were two of these set a short ddistance apart (the disk on the other one is gone and only the stem remains). This one has a designation of "A 340 USLHS". The other one is "Z 339 USLHS". I would guess when they got to the last letter of the alphabet for the 339 series, they started up the 340 series by using the other USLHS disk nearby. I believe these disks were set before the CGS ran the 339 and 340 level lines through the area in 1952 and just used the pre-existing disks for the level line. The stamping on the lower section of the disk is "193?" (hard to read). At the top is "A 340 1952".

 

KU0984 "A 340"

 

d455f0f4-ef4c-404d-bd20-09a90902ca35.jpg

(Click for larger image)

 

Here's the setting which shows the old fort in the background:

 

923a0d10-3266-4878-943f-d0cb447d04b2.jpg

(Click for larger image)

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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..a few really old USCS chiseled squares:

f1a9f1dc-6aae-47d0-b5ac-5462b711be36.jpg

A - located in Hagerstown, MD

 

3759dbe7-646d-450a-836c-64a63ec71170.jpg

C - located along the Potomac in MD

Edited by Ernmark

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Oh - here's an interesting one from Pittsburgh:

212f2692-62c3-435f-818a-02eaa8cbc764.jpg

254 - if you look closley, there's only a $10 fine for disturbing!

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Here's a few more of our favorites.

 

U 2 bolt

 

208d45c5-439f-45c0-8cb2-48efe1194e86.jpg

 

 

u 8 chiseled square

 

fe829883-92c2-4c33-8b89-096e5f3cdcb0.jpg

c5fd1b28-bea7-47f2-84a7-e94fabd36c60.jpg

 

 

Arizona East Latitude Post

 

8fffee86-bf50-473e-b851-e501646bbcb1.jpg

side version to see the carved 1893 date better.

 

bd4d7175-f04d-4d67-80fd-b13ae8eb66ad.jpg

 

 

Kanab South Cairn

36738_100.jpg

 

This sure is fun to see all of the unusal found marks. Who would have believed that we could all have found such a variety? This is a good thread to further the answer of "Why do you like to hunt Benchmarks?" question that we all have heard.

 

John & Shirley

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I've got a bunch of finds that are really just different agency disks; though there are some that are interesting.

 

Las Vegas Blvd ROW

75bd05d2-d34f-436f-9464-32ffe994230d.jpg

 

I've found about a dozen that I created as waymarks.

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There are some really interesting benchmarks posted here. Thanks everyone :laughing: I found a cool triangular one today:

 

JW1806benchmark.jpg

 

JW1806

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NV0739 K 4

 

Good condition. Real nice square basalt post. Can't help but wonder how old this one is.

Update: 21may2007

This bench mark was originally monumented in 1903.

Following is a clip from an email I received from an NGS employee after posting a query in the bencmarking forum.

 

"Station K 4 (NV0739) was established in a leveling network run from Pocatello to Owyhee in 1903. The original 1903 description from U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Annual Report of 1904 states "At Chalk Spur, Elmore County, Idaho, directly behind mile pole 391, 120 feet north of the center of the main track and 70 feet north of the line of telegraph poles." Regrettably, when the automation of these records were completed in the 1970 the team did not investigate some of the older publications to find the original descriptions for these old marks. A description of the actual leveling observations is provided on pages 405-407 of the above report and the descriptions of the bench marks are provided on pages 426-430."

 

1fcca490-b55b-42b1-94ed-8abc6bbbf9f6.jpg

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OG1060 INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS COMMISSION 1912

It's about a 9 inch radius hemispherical concrete half-ball

1c70bd4a-e23b-4855-a781-a4d4938714ad.jpg

 

OG1075 Terrapin Rock near Niagara Falls, on Terrapin Point, of course!

There is a corroded copper bolt on top near the left end. You would need large brass "you know what" to occupy the station. One, slip, and it's over the falls without a barrel!

99967f48-653f-4be5-9f5f-e1b0f1062bec.jpg

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From that which delivers all knowledge of the known universe, Wikipedia:

 

"Pittsburgh is one of the few American cities to be spelled with an h at the end of a burg suffix. For this reason, it is also the most commonly misspelled city in America. While briefly referred to as "Pittsburg" during the late 19th century, in 1911 the Pittsburgh spelling was officially restored."

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Stumbled upon this unique disk posted by schleis2 19NOV2006 while map scouting for a road trip west in April.

 

57cf1de9-f131-4efb-aa54-3b7e64f010c2.jpg

 

It is found on page 183 and described on page 166 in Special Publication #18.

 

Note 59 - A brass plate, 10 centimeters in diameter, cemented into stone or brick flush

with the surface. The raised center is marked by cross lines, the intersection of which

is the bench, and by the letters “U. S. B. M.”

 

It fits nicely into this old thread, and I could not find anything similar in Gnomoclature list.

 

kayakbird

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Thanks, CoolCowCachers

 

Got it pinned on GE - would Friday or Saturday be best for an early morning run down there from a motel near Sea-Tac (first weekend in April)? MEL

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Gee thanks. Nothing like seeing everyone elses cool finds to make my finds seem so ordinary! UGH.

 

Great thread though - and great posts one and all!

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0f2b5da3-569f-4fb7-b8df-855d90964f40.jpg?rnd=0.8947214

 

Don't know if this qualifies as unusual, but it's the only mark I've ever seen that had War Department on it.

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Haven't done half as much benchmark hunting as I'd like to, but I did have a couple of interesting finds.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=BH2144

 

You wouldn't think this one would be hard to find:

"THE STATION IS THE CENTER OF A 2 INCH IRON PIN SET IN A 1.5 FOOT IRON PLATE. THE PLATE IS ATOP A 11.5 FOOT ROUND STONE AND BRICK PEDESTAL WHICH IS 2.0 FEET HIGH."

But I'm the only person who's logged it here.

 

783e8908-33d2-4f90-838d-8ce4ec5e9e70.jpg

f68015cd-6de8-4a82-9965-0b9e4ccca65d.jpg

 

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=AB4055

 

In addition to the following benchmark, I found another of these that was damaged (probably beyond usefulness) and apparently not bluebooked while looking for a Geocache. This one I believe I found after the damaged one, and I don't know if I still have a pic of the damaged one.

 

8703c57c-d702-4a11-a607-2cfe42f617be.jpg

ae1addc6-ad2b-45d2-92dc-ea8ae52a836d.jpg

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