Papa-Bear-NYC Posted April 26, 2008 Share Posted April 26, 2008 (edited) Last weekend, I spent half of Friday and almost all of Saturday and Sunday searching for ("chasing" might be a better word) triangulation stations in Massachusetts (plus one was in Rhode Island). Dave (ddnutzy) met me for most of Saturday and all of Sunday's fun. From my base in Natick Massachusetts, I drove 625.6 miles, and used 19.66 gallons of gas costing $65.70. This was all for 9 Triangulations (resulting in 8 FOUNDs and one NOT FOUND), plus 4 extra FOUNDs (one of which was a GREAT recovery - see below) and one locked gate. So for my target group (9) that's 69.5 miles per triangulation station. Pretty sparse hunting, you might say. So I say, look at this map: These stations were part of the 19th century Triangulation of Massachusetts (which formed part of the Eastern Oblique Arc). This was published in 1922 as USCGS Special Publication No. 76. Use that link if you want to see the document (in PDF format). For more information on the Eastern Oblique Arc (EOA for short) see the 1902 USCGS Special Publication No. 7 or, for starters, read through Holograph's excellent article on the EOA on his benchmark Wiki site: Holograph's EOA article. Here's a screen shot from my Google Map of the same stations plus those adjoining them up and down the coast: (Click on map to get the live interactive Google Map) The blue markers are the ones which were part of the Eastern Oblique Arc, the two geen ones and the connecting line are the "Base Line", the red ones were other Massachusetts "Precise" stations (what we would call first order stations) not in the EOA, and finally the gray ones are the adjoining EOA stations to the north and south. The ones I decides to go after were the ones in the east or mid state. These were (in order of our search): Friday: Thompson (1845) Saturday: Shootflying (1845) Manomet (1835) Copecut (1837, reset 1932) Massachusetts North Base (1844) Beaconpole (1844, reset 1932) Sunday: Blue Hill (1845, buired under a a concrete flag pole base sometime after 1991) Wachusett (1833, moved 1895, reset 1936) Mount Tom (1862) Of the others (of course there are always others to persue) Nantucket Cliff was lost 100 years ago and Equinox and Graylock were destroyed when the summits were "defaced" with structures. Massachusetts South Base was evidently destroyed when new tracks were laid some time prior to 1934, and Great Meadow is in a National Guard facility which was closed and locked tight when we went there on Saturday. Almost any history of geodetic surveying in Massachusetts starts with Simeon Borden (1798-1856) (see Wikipedia entry). He is credited with inventing the first accurate apparatus for measuring a base line and was instrumental in doing the Massachusetts Triangulation (commonly called the "Borden Survey") in the 1830s. Borden was doing his survey in Massachusetts around the time Hassler was working in the mid-Atlantic states. Many of the stations used by the US Coast Survey as part of the EOA used Borden's survey points. The Massachusetts Survey documented in SP No. 76 used most of the Borden survey as part of the USCGS triangulation. Of the 19 "Precise" stations shown on the map above, 6 were Borden stations. We found 2 of the original Borden stations, Manomet and Wachusett, although the Wachusett station has been moved twice (see below). One of our "extras" was also a Borden station, which were were very pleased to find. The other name that occurs frequently is A.D. Bache, who was the head of the Coast Survey after Hassler and has his name on a great number of triangulation stations in the late 1840s to early 1860s up and down the East Coast. 6 of the 19 were Bache stations of which we found 4 (although Beaconpole was reset in 1932) Blue Hill (buried) is also a Bache station. In the next note I will give short summaries of our recovery efforts, and then I'll mention our special "extra" finds. Edited April 27, 2008 by Papa-Bear-NYC Quote Link to comment
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