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The Eastern Oblique Arc meets the US-Canadian Boundary

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I recently spent nearly a week in eastern and northern Maine around the first of August doing some serious survey marker hunting. My searches were

centered around 1) the Eastern Oblique Arc and 2) the US-Canada boundary with a few triangulation stations thrown in. It involves stations up

in Aroostook and Washington counties which are a looooong way away and where things are faaaaar apart. I drove over 1200 miles in 5 travel days!

 

My interest in the Eastern Oblique Arc (EOA for short) is familiar to many in this group. This is the 6th forum thread on the subject. Check these

links for the past threads.

My vacation intersects the Eastern Oblique Arc October 2007

The Eastern Oblique Arc crosses Massachusetts April 2008

The Eastern Oblique Arc meets the Borden Survey July 2008

The Eastern Oblique Arc in Western Maine and New Hampshire August 2008

The Epping Base Net of the Eastern Oblique Arc November 2008

I got intrested in the EOA in the summer of 2007, as I was planning a trip to Maine and New Brunswick as a vacation with my wife. Prompted by

some discussions on this forum, I had recently read Holograph's excellent Wiki on the Eastern Oblique Arc. This described the monumental project

done by the Coast Survey from about 1830 to about 1900 which surveyed the entire East Coast to an unprecedented level of accuracy. And in so doing,

helped establish the "Figure of the Earth" (the exact shape of the earth's spheroid in North America) which laid the foundations of modern datums.

Pretty great stuff, of which I was totally ignorant until then. So my 2007 trip was devoted to finding as many stations as possible that still

exist in the area.

 

Here's Holograph's Wiki: EOA Wiki.

 

This years trip was built on two basic ideas: finish the missing stations in the easternmost segment of the EOA, and check out the connections

made in the 19th century between the primary triangulation scheme (the EOA) and the US-Canadian boundary, which after nearly 50 years of wrangling,

was finally agreed upon in 1842 and laid out in the several years following.

 

As for the EOA, check out this map:

c2d7dbaf-a8c4-4771-a514-cfb42cca4cb8.jpg

 

Here's the link to the live interactive version: EOA Easternmost section Move it, zoom it, click on the stations, explore the area.

 

Rye 1866, in the upper left of the triangulation scheme was the last one in Maine that was known still to exist, and one for which I had a DNF in 2007.

I'm happy to say that push pin was turned green in this trip and I have a note below in this thread on that happy find.

 

Besides the gray push pins on Howard (under a concrete radar pad) and Grand Manan Island (a very long swim) I was finished with this section. But what about the

three red ones: St. David, Calais Observatory and Prince Regent Redoubt? Well, St. David was lost when the owner of the land "removed the station-mark and built a

house over it" in 1887 (quote from 1888 CGS Annual Report), and Prince Regent Redoubt was lost in 1910. Not much to go on there.

 

But Calais Observatory was another story. The logs on the datasheet say it was lost prior to 1935, and a 1998 log said the stone the transit was mounted

on was found at the foot of the hill, so I figured that was that. But when I visited the site in 2007 anyway, I was intrigued by a new NGS disk that had

been placed there a few years prior, and that story went on as I learned more about the history of the site and this culminated on August 4th. See the

note below on this highly unusual story.

 

As for the connection with the boundary, I found these two excerpts from the CGS annual reports:

 

From the 1867 report:

 

ba903302-f80d-442d-83cc-199da7887132.jpg

 

And from the 1890 report:

 

75ed9038-adf2-4422-97e7-8f5a77f54f8b.jpg

 

So I visited a couple of the stations in question and you will hear about that in another note below.

 

Finally there were two triangulation station unrelated to these topics, but which were nice finds nevertheless, plus a few more reference monuments

in the Calais Area which were set by the boundary commission when the route of the boundary through the St. Croix River was fixed in the early

part of the 20th century.

 

Read on ...

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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Finding Rye 1866

 

I first tried to find this in 2007. Quoting from my log:

 

I decided to try to follow the 1963 directions. I found the old road 3.4 miles from the route 1 / route 9 intersection. Unfortunately, the house

with the mailbox of M. Brownlee, "WHO OWNS THE LAND WHERE THE MARK AND KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE IT IS LOCATED" was long gone. At this point, route 9 must

have been relocated some years back and the old right of way (to the north) rejoined the present highway right where the old road went into the woods.

The GPS said .8 miles to the mark.

 

I followed this road for about .2 miles and from there it was a cross country bushwhack following the lead of my GPS. The going was bad. Trashy 3rd

growth forest interspersed with clearings that were overrun with near impenetrable blackberry patches with thorns. I slowly and painfully made my way

around and through these obstacles till I got about .2 miles from the top. Suddenly I found a road which helped me make a little progress upward but

it soon went off in its own direction and I was left to my own navigation skills once again.

 

At long last I reached a clearing near the summit and my GPS beeped and cheerfully said "Arriving at QF0932". I wish it were so! The clearing was

overrun with thorns, rocks every which way in piles large and small and no apparent open ledges (need I mention there was no witness sign nailed to

a tree). Every pile of rocks was on top of more rocks as far as I could dig.

 

After about 30 minutes of this (did I mentioned this was the one and only hot and buggy day of our vacation) I gave it up.

 

Here's a site photo from 2007. The excavation near the bottom turned up nothing:

372305fd-1168-4f72-8e43-da0e86214143.jpg

 

This year's searched went much better.

 

My route to the summit was far superior to the one I took in 2007. This time I used aerial views from Google Maps and found some logging roads which

led to within .1 miles of the summit. They were not drivable in my rental car, but they were easily walkable. The final bushwhack to the top was also

easy. Somehow the brambles I had passed through in 2007 where off to the side.

 

My strategy was first to search for the witness sign that was supposedly placed here in 1963, but that was nowhere to be found. Then I looked for

piles of rocks, but as mentioned in my previous log, they were everywhere, and none particularly stood out. My GPS got me to about a 20 foot circle,

so I started methodically checking rock piles (for the purpose of this search, any two rocks close together made a "rock pile") and scanning. This

time however I had my metal detector, which although no silver bullet, can help.

 

What I did seem to have that I lacked in 2007, was luck. If you look at the first 2007 photo, you'll see an area in front of a spruce tree with a few

rocks, and this is where I started my search this time. Guess what? PAYDIRT! I moved a few rocks out of the way, scanned with the metal detector over

the ground and heard the beeping I wanted to hear. I switched to pin-point mode and found a hot spot. So I dug through about 2 inches of dirt, roots,

spruce needles and assorted vegetation, and BINGO, there was my copper bolt in a little hollow in the ledge.

 

Here's the bolt as it was first uncovered. Notice the thick mat of dirt, roots, needles and assorted vegetation which covered the ledge. Thank god

for the metal detector!

8a7d4677-7143-4027-b982-0e267d3a5d18.jpg

 

There were supposed to be 4 holes around the mark, 3 at 18" distant to the north, south and west, and one 6" distant to the east. So I scraped the

duff off the ledge to the east and BINGO, there was a drill hole about 6" from the copper bolt. This hole was the clincher, although I would not

expect random copper bolts on this out of the way peak..

 

Here's the bolt with the 6" distant hole:

e7f51539-006d-4e92-b710-3bb8bcdcdeb9.jpg

 

I never did find the other 3 holes. The ledge tended to disappear after about 18 inches out, and I could not assume either the original distances

or directions were highly accurate. It would have been quite an excavation to clear the ledge out to say 24" all around the copper bolt with my

little garden trowel, so I let those 3 holes go. Maybe the next person to visit the site will dig a little further out and find them.

 

Here's the rock ledge cleard to about 18" out:

418ee899-3b51-4450-ad70-bceaa7eb11d2.jpg

 

I built a small cairn over the station on the ledge. Hopefully this will do better than the 1963 rock pile. Here it is:

70bfc9f6-4e94-4eb9-b5e5-c0c3c85e3f1c.jpg

 

Here's the GC log: Rye 1866 Log

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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The Curious and Wonderful Tale of the Calais Oservatory

 

This story is about the newly dedicated Meridian park, in Calais. It goes back some 9 years. Or actually you could say it goes back 152 years to

when the Calais Observatory was established by the Coast Survey in 1857.

 

My own awareness is much more recent. I became aware of Calais Observatory simply as a station in the Eastern Oblique Arc, and in fact, a station

whose station mark was destroyed in the 1930s. I visited it anyway in 2007, but didn't understand what I was looking at. There was, however a new

disk there set by the NGS in 2005, marking the site as #1 on the NGS Heritage Trail. See Calais Observatory Commemorative Station. The National

Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Geodetic Survey (NGS), is the successor agency of the Coast Survey set up by President

Thomas Jefferson in 1807.

 

I learned from that web page that Calais was the last link in establishing accurate longitude in North America via telegraph. Measurements were

made in discreet pieces, , first from Harvard College Observatory to Thomas Hill Observatory in Bangor, Maine in 1851, from Thomas Hill Observatory

to Calais Observatory in 1857, and in 1866, with the success of the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, observations were made from Greenwich Observatory

(0-degrees longitude or the Prime Meridian), to Foilhommerum, Valentia Island, Ireland; from Ireland to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland, and in

the closing days of 1866 the final ‘connection’ was made between Newfoundland and Calais Maine, essentially making the Calais Observatory the

‘golden spike’ of longitude where mathematical longitude determinations between the old and new world met.

 

An Astronomical Transit (in the Smithsonian) thought to be like to one used at Calais. Note the crank which fits in the groove of the transit stone.

e4fbfff8-b325-4d7c-9675-1ce45dcf1529.jpg

 

1895 saw the last NGS activity at Calais for 110 years (the Coast Survey performed direct observations between Calais and Harvard Observatories) and

for many years only the stone supports for the various instruments remained; the building which housed and protected the instruments, hastily built

in 1857, was long gone. Then sometime in the early 1930s, about 75 years after the observatory had been built, it is thought that some mischievous

kids from the nearby Calais Academy, managed to topple the heavy granite Transit Stone over and send it rolling down the hill. Its significance had

long been lost to anyone in the area. But the stone had held the transit used to measure longitude, and with the stone gone, the station was lost, and

it was so reported in a 1935 log on the station's data sheet.

 

1998 photo showing the site as it appeared from the early 1930s till 2005. Photo by Harold Nelson.

dec71ecd-87ef-4e32-ae6c-aa745370e775.jpg

 

Another 65 years or so passed when the Maine Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) was surveying for a project along Main Street in Calais.

Harold Nelson, who was Project Coordinator for the survey began researching the geodetic control stations in order to tie the survey into State

Plane Coordinates. He found one station of curious interest, CALAIS OBSERVATORY 1866.

 

Harold inquired from colleagues at the NGS, exactly what was that, and was told it was a longitude station and that it played an important historic

role in establishing accurate longitude in North America. Harold then spent many hours in the University of Maine’s Fogler Library and went back to

visit the Calais site in 1998 and discovered a stone at the bottom of the hill that looked like it might be the Transit Stone. He also noticed an

interesting spot at the top that had been carved and leveled in the exposed bedrock, next to the mysterious stone pillar that remained at the top.

 

1998 photo showing a granite block at the base of the hill, which was suspected to be the missing transit stone. Photo: Harold Nelson.

eec2d83a-c674-4df0-9d20-e4347ea6f7a2.jpg

 

Things moved along till 2005 when the NGS set the heritage disk and the Calais Historical Society was marshalling local support and volunteer efforts

to clean up and rehabilitate the site as a park. At this time, the NGS crew recorded almost 2 hours of GPS readings on the "pad" next to the stone

pillar, while the heritage disk was being set nearby, and the local highway department was enlisted to move the stone back up the hill and see if it

fit into the pad. Gayle Moholland, who was working with the city crew, said "There was no question as to where to set it. It fits snug as a bug within

the cut out area of the stone". Harold had by now done research on similar stations, some of which still survive: the Transit Stone held the Astronomical

Transit used in longitude determinations, and the pillar held the astronomical clock that was used to transmit a steady series on "ticks" over the telegraph

to the station at the other end of the line.

 

2005 photo showing the GPS set over the pad, while work is going on behind on the heritage disk. Photo: Harold Nelson

0d9f50b1-5afb-4d22-baa8-3511a50cfb59.jpg

 

2005 photo showing the local highway department moving the stone into place. Photo: Gayle Moholland

402ecb11-26f6-4297-a873-640d53c204ca.jpg

 

Sometime later, the results of the GPS measurement came back. The software used by the NGS, called OPUS, sent back this cryptic note at the bottom of

the output from the GPS measurement:

 

NEAREST NGS PUBLISHED CONTROL POINT

QF0763 CALAIS OBSERVATORY N451105.185 W0671650.588 0.0

This position and these vector components were computed without any knowledge by the National Geodetic Survey regarding the equipment

or field operating procedures used.

8002 The Opus solution for your submitted RINEX file appears to be

8002 quite close to an NGS published control point. This suggests that

8002 you may have set your GPS receiver up over an NGS control point.

8002 Furthermore, our files indicate that this control point has not

8002 been recovered in the last five years.

8002 If you did indeed recover an NGS control point, we would

8002 appreciate receiving this information through our web based

8002 Mark Recovery Form at

8002 (visit link)

 

The GPS position taken on the carved pad compared with the latitude and longitude of the CALAIS OBSERVATORY 1866 station showed that the distance

between the two points was but .1278 m or just over 5 inches.

 

Considering the GPS was set up in an approximate location estimated by eye to be the center of the pad, and no research was done to discover how

the transit was set or positioned on the stone, nor how closely the flagpole on the roof above was positioned, this result is nothing short of

astounding. Further research may allow a more accurate determination, but at this point it's clear that the original position of the Transit Stone

has been reestablished and the layout of the site is much as it was in 1857, over 150 years ago.

 

I received an email about 2 months ago that the site behind the Calais Academy was to be established as a city park. So I was there on August 4th

at a seminar giving the background on the station and later I was at the dedication ceremony at the site. Iwas immensely impressed by the local

group of history buffs, who together with the local elected officials and agencies, and a donor who donated a significant property at the site to

the city, made this project happen. And all this cost the City of Calais exactly $0.00 (that's zero dollars and zero cents)! I'm amazed and humbled.

 

The dedication: Harold Nelson is explaining the details, Richard Auletta, president of the Historical Society is on the left and Jim Porter,

city manager of Calais in behind in the back center. The transit stone makes a nice podium, don't you think?

187a92af-0b2d-4486-aec4-325db2fc9481.jpg

 

Special Recognition:

 

Richard Auletta, who has worked tirelessly on preservation and understanding of the Calais Observatory

Gayle Moholland and the Highway Department of the City of Calais for moving the Transit Stone from the foot of the hill and returning it to

the original position.

Jim Porter, City Manager of Calais, who was the first contact Harold Nelson made on a hot July 3, 1998, and has been a supporter of this

project from the beginning. Jim provided Harold with a ladder to get to the top of the ‘clock stone’ to see if there were any markings on it.

Mike Johnson and Leonard Scott, property owners of significant portions of the site who each donated land to the city for the park.

 

Does this mean the station is no longer lost? Is it found? No, I'm afraid not. I would say it's not found due to the uncertainties mentioned above,

and the lead bolt has disappeared, or perhaps never existed. The best we could say is that the original station was somewhere within about 5 inches of

the center of the Transit Stone. But hey!, that's pretty d&mn good by my way of thinking!

 

Links: Harold Nelson has a number of web pages up concerning his research on this and related topics. This link is from the Alumni of Calais Academy page which in turn has links to many other related pages including Harold's: CalaisAlumni.org history page

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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The Initial Monument and its Connection by Triangulation to the Eastern Oblique Arc

 

There is a monument up in Amity Maine, in Aroostook County, called the Initial Monument. It was the first point on the entire boundary between the US

and Canada to be fixed, in 1798. At that time, the details of the rest of the border were still in dispute. A cedar post was set. This was replaced

in 1817 by another cedar post when the North Line was laid out as an "Exploratory" line, but not yet accepted at the official boundary. The North

Line and most of the rest of the border was finally defined by the treaty of 1842, and the Initial Monument got an Iron post, right next to the 1817

cedar post. This is shown in the vintage 1908 photo below. The iron post remains, and I'm told the 1817 cedar post was shipped to the Maine State

Museum in Augusta after the iron post was reset with a concrete base (soon after the second picture below was taken). It is apparently in storage

in the annex, not on display.

 

Vintage 1908 photo showing the 1843 iron post (which is still there) and the 1817 cedar post.

2c57f3b7-e6de-4fbe-a031-a14ac5796161.jpg

 

Vintage photo (1908) taken after the monument was reset in its concrete base. The base is very high above the ground, perhaps to keep the

monument at the same height. The 1817 cedar post appears to have been pulled from the ground and is leaning against the base.

ac08c5b9-6861-49b2-9a0c-63465b5ccbf3.jpg

 

1867 CGS report on the condition of the Initial Monument and on extending the CGS Survey up to that monument.

 

ba903302-f80d-442d-83cc-199da7887132.jpg

 

1890 CGS report of the extension of the CGS triangulation up to the Initial Monument and the establishment of stations around the vicinity.

 

473cc804-0595-46b9-aebe-8df4ebaad8c5.jpg

 

The work done in 1889 was north of the line Spruce Mt - Mount Henry shown on the following diagram. It's not clear which were the 10 stations

established as documented in 1890, but they must have included Peekaboo Mt, Spring Hill (obscured on the diagram) and Pole Hill on the US side,

Green Mt., McInelly, and Kennedy on the Canadian side and Initial and Transit on the line. The other two may have been in the area of the lakes in

the center of the area, possibly Walls Hill and Pemberton Ridge.

 

Of interest is that the same "Mr. Boyd" was working on the same project 23 years after the first report. Didn't that guy have a life?

 

Diagram from S.P. 46 "Triangulation in Maine" (1918) showing the 1867-1889 work along the St. Croix connecting the initial monument to the

CGS survey near Calais.

f8562dab-b318-4058-9664-a4c3eb0fc37e.jpg

 

Although I unquestionably "found" the monument (from about .4 miles away), I could not approach close to it due to flooding along the vista.

I hope to go back when the ground freezes and get a close up look. Stay tuned to this page.

 

Initial Monument 1 as seen from Monument 1A (about .4 miles distant) from my recent visit.

f687ccc4-2cea-4590-95ae-c1dcd1c3c3de.jpg

 

Initial Monument 1 IBC GC log

 

Pole Hill (1889)

 

This station is on a low hill that runs north-south about 1/2 mile just west (on the US side) of the border. Pole Hill is a First Order station

and was used at the most northeasterly point of the early surveys of the state of Maine, and effectively it tied the boundary monuments into

the survey of the state and the entire east coast.

 

To get to the station I went north along the boundary swath past Monument 1A, and nearly to 1B. Then I headed straight up the hill, through

relatively open woods to an old track road which ran along the ridge line. My GPS said I had hit the ridge about 200 feet north of the station,

so I simply walked along the old road and Voila! there was the 6' x 3' bolder at the side of the road, and there was the old US&CBS disk on

the boulder surrounded by a chiseled triangle. It was an easy find (aside from getting there) and the station was in good shape. Originally

the station was a simple drill hole, but the disk was set in the drill hole in 1916.

 

Pole Hill station mark on the boulder, surrounded by a chiseled triangle. The disk was set in 1916 in the 1889 drill hole.

1d3b1053-02f3-4425-b43f-acd3cd39967c.jpg

 

Pole Hill GC log

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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A little Bit of This 'n' That

 

A couple of Tri-stations

 

Maguerrewok (1887)

In Tuesday, between the seminar and the dedication ceremony, A had a couple of hours of free time, so I drove around to the soutwest

part of town. This station is on land belonging to the Moosehorn National Wildlife refuge and a visit to their site across the bridge

is recommended. I spotted 2 bald eagles on a nest in the marsh near the refuge road.

 

This station is reached via a pleasant walk along Ice House Road to Dan's Road, a lovely grassy road which brings you to the top. The summit

still has the old stone wall which is the "fence" mentioned in the original description. The station and both reference marks were

found in good condition.

 

A word about RM1: it is an old flat type USC&GS triangulation disk. It was set in 1909, when the station was visited 22 years after originally

being set up and this was only a year or two after these disks were introduced. You would expect that a reference mark disk should have been used,

but perhaps the survey party only had this triangulation station type of disk on hand. NGS Surveyor (George) who is on this forum, suggested that

Reference Mark disks were not yet in use in 1909 - they first appeared around 1913. The discription merely calls the disk "a standard disk marker",

so perhaps this type was the only type of disk available.

 

It has led to confusion in the past, since these are almost always used for the station mark, not a reference mark. So if you see this disk, keep

searching for the iron bolt (which you probably walked over to get to the disk). The bolt in the triangle is the station, not the disk.

 

I have included an excerpt from the 1918 report on the survey in Maine, which explains the various dates and what happened when. It also states that

the station was a drill hole and does not mention the iron bolt, which was evidently added later.

 

Here's the escerpt ftrpm the 1918 Special Pubblication No. 46, "Triangulation in Maine". You'll notice the text is sbstantially similar to the entry

on the data sheet (I'm sure those who puttthe data sheet together got the text from this publication), but with a few telling differences:

 

Maguerrewoc (Washington County, C. H. B., 1887; 1909).-- On the southwest summit of Maguerrewoc Mountain located about 3/4 mile southeasterly

from the southern part of Milltown, and about 3/4 mile east of St. Croix River and 1/4 mile east of the road from Calais and Milltown to Baring. ...

The station is marked according to note 16 (a drill hole surrounded by a triangle). When the signal was erected in 1908 three drill holes were made,

each 7 feet from the center, for bolts to which the wire guys were fastened. In 1909, when a taller signal pole was required, the guy bolts were set

in other holes at a greater distance. The holes thus vacated will not be mistaken for the station mark, as the latter is inclosed by the deep cut

triangle already mentioned. Two references were also established, the first being a standard disk marker set in a drilled hole in the top of a small

rocky knob 7.5 meters to the northeastward of the station; the second reference mark is a cross within a 5-inch equilateral triangle cut on the flat

surface of an exposed ledge, at a distance of 5.634 meters south by east from the station and about a foot north of the line fence.

 

One further point to note is that Maguerrewok is a first order station established in 1887. It almost certainly was one of the stations extablished when

they connected the survey up along the St. Croix River to the primary scheme (the EOA) mentioned in the 1890 Annual report excerpted in the note above

on the Calais Observatory.

 

Left: the bolt within the triangle on the boulder

Right: the olf CGS disk used a s a reference mark

96450846-da54-48f4-968c-f034e216c0f7.jpg cc6815d4-8caf-488c-b08e-f8d652fdf0f9.jpg

 

GC Log entry: Maguerrewok log

 

Peaked Mtn

This mark has nothing to do with either the EOA, or the boundary, but it was quite a trek (both in the car and on foot) to get to. It's on the highest

point of Aroostook County. It was an interesting search, I recommend you read the log.

 

Left: the disk in a cleft in the rock ledge

Right: a small cairn was left over the disk.

a4238604-c87d-4930-8c29-112ec0ceeb28.jpg 5dccf315-448e-4ad5-914f-8ef126cce7e5.jpg

 

GC Log entry: Peaked Mtn log

 

Boundary Reference Monuments on the shore of the St. Croix (1909 & 1921)

 

While in Calais, I recovered 4 pairs of stations in my spare time - 1909 triangulation stations paired with 1921 IBC Reference Monuments.

 

So what are these double survey marker stations?. All along the shore of the Saint Croix River, from it's mouth down in Robbinston up along the

river into Aroostook County, the International Boundary Commission and it's Predecesssor the US and Canada Boundary Survey was tasked by the

treaty of 1908 to define all the points in the Saint Croix river which constituted the boundary. This consisted of almost 1100 turning points -

points in the river wherever the river made a turn - all the way from it's source in Amity in Aroostook County where the stream was but a trickle,

down to it's mouth in Robbinston where it empties into Passamaquoddy Bay and it forms a broad stream between Maine and New Brunswick (and has

20+ foot tides). But none of these points is marked. They are out in the river, so they exist only on paper. They are virtual boundary points if

you will. But in order to specify exactly where these points were, the shore line was carefully surveyed and hundreds of triangulation stations

were put into place starting in 1909. These were usually disks, or sometimes drill holes in rocks. They used USC&GS old style tri-station disks

(which had just come into use), since they did not have any disks of their own making till 4 or 5 years later, in the mid 1910s. Somewhat later

(around 1912 or 1913) they produced a custom reference marker for this purpose - an 8 inch long bronze post suitably marked. There were a total

of 245 of these put in along the US and Canadian shore lines of the St. Croix, starting with No. 2 near the source of the St. Croix to No. 246

down in Robbinston.

 

To save the cost of resurveying the whole river, they set these bronze posts right next to the 1909 tri-stations. Occasionally, when the older

disk had broken off, they would simply put the newer marker right where the old disk had been. The first of these were set in 1913 near the source

and In this area of the river the posts were put in place in 1921.

 

I managed to find four of these "Pairs", although one (Mon 246=Initial) no longer has a disk (it's position was taken over by the bronze monument), and another

(#242 on St. Croix Island) has only the stub of a disk. One of them (Mon 239 / De Monts) was recovered by Harry Dolphin last year.

 

Incidentally, I consider my trip to St. Croix Island (aka Dochet island, aka Bone Island, aka De Monts Island) a bit of a coup. The National Park

Service, which administers the Island, discourages visits due to the fragility of the landscape and allows private but not commercial trips - so there

is no ferry service or boats-for-hire to get you there. I got a ride from a local lobsterman who was a friend of a friend and whom I met at the

dedication of Meridian Park the day before.

 

Here are a few pictures:

 

Left: Mon 246 = Initial

Right: Mon 242 / Dochet Island

eeacb7b1-908d-4d69-95db-84e9c09aa8e8.jpg fb76fadc-887b-43b9-8dcc-5a299a8ecf6e.jpg

 

Left: Mon 239 / De Monts

Right: Mon 237 / Miller

c173ff75-5a89-40ed-8826-f829e1eb7612.jpg 4a52da7a-e75c-4c2a-a350-03969339dfc1.jpg

 

And here are the GC logs:

Mon 246 = Initial

Mon 242 / Dochet Island

Mon 239 / De Monts

Mon 237 / Miller

 

Actually these (except for the first) have two log entries each, since the disk and the monument are separate stations, but I just put in the link for the disk.

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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NGS recovery logs posted already!

 

An interesting surprise: when I checked the NGS data sheets for these stations this morning I saw my recovery logs were already there. I logged them a few days after returning home, probably around Aug. 8th or 9th, and now on the 21st they are already there.

 

I must have hit the cycle at just the right point.

 

Has any one else noticed their late July / early August recovery logs to the NGS posted yet?

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My logs from Aug. 10th are already posted. So i'd assume my July ones after the last update are as well.

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As I work on catching up with NGS recoveries for the last 6 weeks I have come up with a question on paired marks that tie in with part of this great, great report. What a neat achievement!

 

How should I handle my two Mississippi River Commission (MRC) finds where there is a PID for a CAP and another for a BOLT (always undergound, I guess)?

 

I find it curious that USPSQD did a NOT FOUND on the underground BOLT(SK0178), but did not recover the still to this day present pipe with Cap(SK0177). And why isn't there a Found recovery for the BOLT after the 1959 CGS crew "REALIGNED WITH THE UNDERGROUND MARK" the pipe with CAP?

 

I don't remember seeing a double PID for any of the similar Missouri River Commission (MORC) marks; although many are wrongly described as pipe driven into the ground or with an underground mark set in concrete. When I get back after these along Fort Peck Reservoir tomorrow is seeing the distinctive MORC cap enough for a FOUND recovery?

 

*************************************************************************************

 

SK0178 DESIGNATION - WYE BOLT

SK0178

SK0178 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

SK0178 HISTORY - 1898 MONUMENTED MRC

SK0178 HISTORY - 1933 GOOD NGS

SK0178 HISTORY - 20040809 MARK NOT FOUND USPSQD

SK0178

SK0178 STATION DESCRIPTION

SK0178

SK0178'DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1933

SK0178'IN CASS LAKE.

SK0178'AT CASS LAKE, CASS COUNTY, IN THE WYE JUNCTION OF PARK RAPIDS DIVISION

SK0178'OF THE GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY AND THE MAIN LINE, IN THE SOUTH FORK OF

SK0178'THE WYE, ON THE PROLONGATION OF THE SOUTH TANGENT, ABOUT 370 FEET

SK0178'NORTH OF THE HEAD BLOCK OF THE SWITCH AT THE SOUTH POINT OF THE WYE,

SK0178'76 FEET EAST OF THE TRACK OF THE WEST LEG OF THE WYE, AND 40 FEET WEST

SK0178'OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE TRACK OF THE EAST LEG. A BOLT, SET IN THE

SK0178'TOP OF A TILE ABOUT 3 FEET UNDER GROUND, ACCESS TO WHICH IS HAD

SK0178'THROUGH A 3-INCH IRON PIPE BEARING A MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION

SK0178'STANDARD CAP, STAMPED P.B.M. 1898.

SK0178

SK0178 STATION RECOVERY (2004)

SK0178

SK0178'RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 2004 (ATD)

SK0178'MARK NOT FOUND. SPSPS JRD

 

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SK0177 DESIGNATION - WYE CAP

SK0177 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

SK0177 HISTORY - 1898 MONUMENTED MRC

SK0177 HISTORY - 1933 GOOD NGS

SK0177 HISTORY - 1959 SEE DESCRIPTION CGS

SK0177 HISTORY - 1980 GOOD NGS

SK0177 HISTORY - 1981 GOOD MNDT

SK0177

SK0177 STATION DESCRIPTION

SK0177

SK0177'DESCRIBED BY MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION 1898

SK0177'STATION IS IN SOUTH FORK OF Y AT JUNCTION OF PARK RAPIDS DIVISION

SK0177'OF GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY AND MAIN LINE AT CASS LAKE, ON LINE

SK0177'OF SOUTH TANGENT PRODUCED, 113 METERS (371 FEET) NORTH OF HEAD

SK0177'BLOCK OF SWITCH AT SOUTH POINT OF Y, 12.6 METERS (41 FEET)

SK0177'WEST OF TRACK OF EAST LEG, AND 234 METERS (768 FEET) EAST OF

SK0177'TRACK OF WEST LEG OF Y. MARKED BY TILE AND PIPE.

 

*lines deleted*

 

SK0177 STATION RECOVERY (1959)

SK0177

*lines deleted*

SK0177'

SK0177'A TRAVERSE CONNECTION WAS MADE TO TRIANGULATION STATION CASS,

SK0177'THE DISTANCE IS 109.5570 METERS, 359.438 FEET.

SK0177'

SK0177'THE SURFACE MARK OF THIS STATION WAS REALIGNED WITH THE

SK0177'UNDERGROUND MARK. THE SURFACE MARK IS NOW 0.035 METER HIGHER

SK0177'THAN IT WAS.

 

**************************************************************************************

I only found one IBC U.S. & C.B. SURVEY disk with its attending RM POST during my exploration of the border west of Lake Superior. This was TB0247 IBC #257 just east of International Falls.

 

Several of the posts are described as being a disk:

" TC0477' NOTE-THE MARK IS AN INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION STANDARD 8-INCH REFERENCE MARK DISK."

 

Thanks, kayakbird

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I'm not sure about these two. CAP has adjusted coordinates AND elevation, BOLT has scaled coordinates and adjusted elevation. BOLT has an elevation of 1331.14 ft and CAP has 1335.13 ft, a difference of 3.99 ft.

 

So they both have highly accurate elevation (both First Order Vertical) but only CASS has accurate location (Second order horizontal). Perhaps they leveled to both, but couldn't get the theodolite over the bolt. Perhaps the pipe wasn't plumb, but then how did they get a leveling rod down there. Maybe they leveled to it before they put the pipe in and filled the hole, It was certainly not plumb in 1959. Clearly not your typical underground station.

 

Anyway, in my opinion, you should see them both to log a FOUND for both. Couldn't you see down the pipe? Was it filled with dirt? I'm not sure what kind of tool would work to clean it out.

 

A cool combination, that's for sure.

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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Anyway, in my opinion, you should see them both to log a FOUND for both. Couldn't you see down the pipe? Was it filled with dirt? I'm not sure what kind of tool would work to clean it out.

 

A cool combination, that's for sure.

[/quote

 

Thanks for the response, PapaBear

 

My photos of MRC pipe caps don't show it, but these are a side riveted cap, similar to USGS and IBC 's of the same era. I don't know if they were meant to be taken off so that the BOLT could be accessed. Are there any professionals on the forum that have done that?

 

The MORC caps have a horizontal through and through threaded bolt; a good number of which are missing and a lot of caps as well. If anyone ever wants to use these again, a stray cap could be used and carried from point to point.

 

I'm just glad to be back out in the wide open spaces and not fighting your northwoods brambles ant more. Mike

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It's my guess the bolt was a backup mark, like the underground mark at later tri-stations, and was not meant to be accessible so long as the pipe cap survived.

 

There were some USPSQD reports which obviously checked either Found or Not Found for every mark on their list, whether or not the could or did make a good effort to find every one. So NF could mean "Didn't Look" as opposed to the more standard "Looked hard enough and didn't find". That is what makes it so desirable to add an additional comment like "Not found in brief search, ties no longer present, need metal detector" or "Probed to 12 inches at measured location"

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