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NYC Fire Rider

Was I close?

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I'm new to this whole thing, but I found a listing for a BM right across the road from my cabin, so I thought I would look for it. What I found in the woods about 50 ft off the dirt road was a three sided square box made of rocks and stone, about one foot high. There was a piece of slate covering the top. The front was open, so I cleaned out the dirt and leaves but didn't find anything inside. I didn't want to disturb anything by taking it apart without asking here first. Any idea what I found? Was it a BM? Should I look further? I'll try to take a picture next time I'm out there. I'm sure I'm not giving enough information, but any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

P.S. The location is Catskill Mountains, NY

Edited by NYC Fire Rider

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"NYC Fire Rider," what you found is probably not covering the benchmark, but if you tell us the PID (that two-letter, four-number ID for the BM), we can read the NGS datasheet for it and tell you what you should be looking for.

 

Patty

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"NYC Fire Rider," what you found is probably not covering the benchmark, but if you tell us the PID (that two-letter, four-number ID for the BM), we can read the NGS datasheet for it and tell you what you should be looking for.

 

Patty

 

Hello Patty, thanks for the response. The benchmark is NA0367 (designation U 258). When they say 2 ft below grade, does that mean it's buried? Thanks again.

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Hello Patty, thanks for the response. The benchmark is NA0367 (designation U 258). When they say 2 ft below grade, does that mean it's buried? Thanks again.

Reading the description tells me it is not underground, but sitting on a boulder on the side of a road, where the top of the boulder is 2 feet below the road level. In other words, the road is above the grade on that side so when you get off the road you go down.

 

In fact if you click on the "MyTopo Maps" for that station, and zoom in a bit, you will see that the road is on the side of a hill, and the mark (shown as "2227 x" on the topo map) is on the downhill side of the road. But it evidently doesn't drop too fast as it only drops 2 feet at the point 44 feet from the center of the road.

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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Hello Patty, thanks for the response. The benchmark is NA0367 (designation U 258). When they say 2 ft below grade, does that mean it's buried? Thanks again.

Reading the description tells me it is not underground, but sitting on a boulder on the side of a road, where the boulder is 2 feet below the road level. In other words, the road is built up above the grade on that side so when you get off the road you go down. Many roads are like that.

 

That is exactly the case here. I just wanted to be sure it's not buried under the dirt road. If I read correctly, the location is "scaled", so the location can be off a bit. I'll keep searching, and will try to get a picture of rocks I found and post it..

Edited by NYC Fire Rider

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Hi NYC Fire Rider -

 

The description of NA0367 says that the BM is about 2 feet below road level, not 2 feet below grade. If it did say 2 feet below grade, then yes, it would've been 2 feet below ground level in 1942. However, since it says 2 feet below road level, then it is fairly likely on the surface, although it doesn't say that explicitly.

 

It does say 44 feet SW of the centerline or the road. Without leveling equipment, judging 2 feet below road level when the center of the road is 44 feet away would be tricky. Assuming that the road has not changed position since 1942, the best thing is to measure from the center (not the edge) of the road 44 feet SW at a few points along the road in a likely area.

 

When you click on the MyTop link on the benchmark's page, you can see the BM mark (X marks the spot) and a good idea would be to scale on that map as best you can how far along the road the X is from the bend in the road. Even though this is a CGS mark, the USGS probably did the opposite thing and made their topo map show the bend in the road the right distance from the mark they were using.

 

Is the gate post still there? Is the stone right-of-way fence still there? Use their measurements if they are.

 

You probably know this already but since this is a scaled mark, it will not be where your GPS says it should be based on the coordinates, but if you do log it, be sure to include in your log the coordinates you measure at the mark.

 

As for the box of rocks, I'd be taking the slate off if it is loose and probing around in there. If all you find under there between those rocks is dirt, probe some with a stiff wire or thin electronics screwdriver of something like that. You're looking for a boulder that might be slightly under the surface if it isn't totally obvious.

 

If someone made a box of rocks, then it may be that the boulder the mark is mounted in may no longer be at or above the surrounding surface.

 

Don't be distracted by that box of rocks if there is a boulder at the right distance from the center of the road!

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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Hi NYC Fire Rider -

 

The description of NA0367 says that the BM is about 2 feet below road level, not 2 feet below grade. If it did say 2 feet below grade, then yes, it would've been 2 feet below ground level in 1942. However, since it says 2 feet below road level, then it is fairly likely on the surface, although it doesn't say that explicitly.

 

It does say 44 feet SW of the centerline or the road. Without leveling equipment, judging 2 feet below road level when the center of the road is 44 feet away would be tricky. Assuming that the road has not changed position since 1942, the best thing is to measure from the center (not the edge) of the road 44 feet SW at a few points along the road in a likely area.

 

When you click on the MyTop link on the benchmark's page, you can see the BM mark (X marks the spot) and a good idea would be to scale on that map as best you can how far along the road the X is from the bend in the road. Even though this is a CGS mark, the USGS probably did the opposite thing and made their topo map show the bend in the road the right distance from the mark they were using.

 

Is the gate post still there? Is the stone right-of-way fence still there? Use their measurements if they are.

 

You probably know this already but since this is a scaled mark, it will not be where your GPS says it should be based on the coordinates, but if you do log it, be sure to include in your log the coordinates you measure at the mark.

 

As for the box of rocks, I'd be taking the slate off if it is loose and probing around in there. If all you find under there between those rocks is dirt, probe some with a stiff wire or thin electronics screwdriver of something like that. You're looking for a boulder that might be slightly under the surface if it isn't totally obvious.

 

If someone made a box of rocks, then it may be that the boulder the mark is mounted in may no longer be at or above the surrounding surface.

 

Don't be distracted by that box of rocks if there is a boulder at the right distance from the center of the road!

 

Thanks for the info. I will try your suggestions and keep you posted!

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Measurements from the road, the gatepost, and the ROW fence will be most helpful.

I would not completely discount the listed (scaled) co-ordinates, however. I have seen many cases where they are uncannily accurate, especially for older marks.

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Be careful probing in that box, especially with something metal. It could easily be an electrical connection box buried under there. Or, not as dangerous, it could be a water valve / meter / junction.

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama

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