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TeacherMatt

Oldest benchmarks?

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A thought came to me today as I was trudging through the woods: What is the oldest recorded Benchmark? Most of what I have seen has been from the 1950's or later (some from the 30's).

 

Any thoughts?

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I know of one in Poke County that was set in 1899, and the oldest benchmark in North Carolina is was set in 1849. I sure that in the U.S. there are older marks. Thanks for the question.

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I have recovered a 1909 Primative travel station bench mark # 4. USC&GS TRINGULATION station Fortune 1961 near Stamped "FORTUNE 1961",near BM 1526, 1923, as witnessed by Mr. Patton the Brass monument is in the old garden and in good shape with one plow mark across it!

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Wasn't George Washington a surveyor? I wonder if anyone has ever found anything that he put in the ground. I was also wondering about that tree where Daniel Boone was supposed to have carved "Dan'l Boone kilt a bar here". If anyone ever found that, there's probably a McDonalds there now.

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The question of what is the oldest benchmark is yet another one with no definite answer, since benchmarks have been set for literally thousands of years. Extensive surveying occured in this country long before the nation was formed. The Coast Survey, ancestor of the NGS, was created in 1807, but no work was done until 1816, when Ferninand Hassler, an immigrant from Switzerland, where he had been a highly respected surveyor, began a limited amount of work on Long Island. So technically the first point, from which the nationwide control network eventually sprang, was probably set there at that time. It is highly doubtful that any of the earliest points survived for long, and they may not have even been intended to be permanent. Work on a comprehensive network along the entire coast did not take place until the 1830s. Some of the markers set at that time may survive, but I am not specifically aware of any. Anyone who would like to read about the details of the early work and see a gallery of early photos can visit www.history.noaa.gov.

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Thanks for the feedback. I live near Historic Fredericksburg, VA (Ferry Farm, George Washington's boyhood home, is just around the corner), so maybe I will be lucky enough to stumble across one of those "oldies".

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Once, two marriages ago, we were traveling the Sky Line drive in the Shenandoah. There is a pullover, and next to this pullover is two large boulders, one larger than the other. Or maybe they are outcroppings, it's been 20+ years. Anyway, on top of the largest portion is a benchmark. Before I could really read the date, and it was old, my loving family began to scream "BEAR!!!" Not being the kind to say, "Where?!?" I almost ran the thirty feet to the ground the short way and was in the car before I realized they were now laughing at me. Oh well, no bear. But I'm sure the benchmark is still there. icon_rolleyes.gif

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Once, two marriages ago, we were traveling the Sky Line drive in the Shenandoah. There is a pullover, and next to this pullover is two large boulders, one larger than the other. Or maybe they are outcroppings, it's been 20+ years. Anyway, on top of the largest portion is a benchmark. Before I could really read the date, and it was old, my loving family began to scream "BEAR!!!" Not being the kind to say, "Where?!?" I almost ran the thirty feet to the ground the short way and was in the car before I realized they were now laughing at me. Oh well, no bear. But I'm sure the benchmark is still there. icon_rolleyes.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by infosponge:

A friend and I found one today that dates originally to 1859...in the middle of nowhere, in water, to boot. What a lot of fun!

 

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=AL0965

 

Your found mark had some major renovations. I think this guy just found the ORIGINAL mark from 1850:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=MY5282

 

-WR

 

"Why worry when you can obsess?"

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quote:
Originally posted by WaldenRun:

I think this guy just found the ORIGINAL mark from 1850:

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=MY5282


 

Wow, thanks for the note. This town contains at least 1/4 of my ancestry since my grandmother grew up in Newbury and all of her ancestry is from Newbury or one of the neighboring towns. The mention of the first English settlers is fasinating, even if a bit off since the town was first settled in 1635. If you are interested, here is a bit about the original settlement of Newbury, Mass. It's amazing to think they used this same hill 367 years ago.

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Recovered KV5818 yesterday and it dates from 1876. I assume the underground marker is still intact based on the description and the current good condition of the 1935 surface monument.

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Just recovered this one:

 

Joe'e Rock

 

The description does not contain an actual date for the monumenting, but the official designation for the mark is:

 

Joe's Rock 1835!!

 

-WR

 

"Why worry when you can obsess?"

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From the history database, these are the oldest benchmarks listed:

 

1765 JU3849 (MD)

1800 AI4534 (CA)

1800 JY1763 (OH)

1800 TC1272 (MN)

1813 AC5593 (SC)

1825 MY5214 (MA)

 

I didn't link to the rest, but here they are...

 

MZ1504 1832

MZ1615 1832

MZ1622 1832

MZ1650 1832

MZ1702 1832

GZ2695 1833

KU2277 1833

KU2715 1833

KU2979 1833

KU2990 1833

LX3919 1833

LX4113 1833

MY2568 1833

MY3638 1833

MY3789 1833

MY3791 1833

KU2338 1834

KU2345 1834

KU2404 1834

KU2717 1834

LW5088 1834

LX3794 1834

MY2666 1834

MY3617 1834

MY4055 1834

MY4112 1834

MY4226 1834

MY4950 1834

MY5020 1834

MY6401 1834

JU3795 1835

KV4984 1835

KV4987 1835

LW2642 1835

LW3158 1835

LW3802 1835

LW3980 1835

LW4063 1835

LW4152 1835

LW4282 1835

LW4312 1835

LW4327 1835

LW4423 1835

LW4436 1835

LW4888 1835

LW4890 1835

LW4958 1835

MZ1807 1835

UT0623 1835

KU2216 1836

LW2150 1836

MZ1913 1836

MZ1994 1836

MZ2000 1836

JU3343 1837

KU2345 1837

KU2404 1837

LW2119 1837

MZ1700 1837

MZ1774 1837

MZ1954 1837

MZ2010 1837

MZ2055 1837

MZ2084 1837

JU3013 1838

LW3010 1838

LX5131 1838

KV3662 1839

KV5081 1839

LW2915 1839

LW2975 1839

LW3029 1839

LW3091 1839

LW3527 1839

LX5230 1839

LX6544 1839

KV5782 1840

HU1332 1841

JV5284 1842

JV5289 1842

JV5347 1842

OC2166 1842

OC2186 1842

OC2236 1842

OC2273 1842

OC2294 1842

OC2416 1842

JU3319 1843

JU3319 1843

LW2151 1843

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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Hey thanks, Jeremy, I'll enjoy looking through those!

 

_________________________________________________________________

I'm afraid I have no choice but to sell you all for medical experiments.

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This is a great list Jeremy! Many thanks!!! I can't wait to give it a work out tomorrow... icon_biggrin.gif

 

now, what else can I think of asking for that you might be willing to provide... icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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At least one of these has been found by a geo-cacher:

 

MY5020

 

It is a lighthouse on an island off the coast of Massachusetts north of Boston, first observed in 1834. Congratulations to bfabry for logging a find for it!

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In an earlier message I guessed that the oldest true NGS point still in existence was probably from the 1830s, so I imagine the ones listed here from that decade are legit and one of them is probably the oldest survivor. I was curious about the six older ones mentioned and took a look at their data sheets. The ones in California, Ohio and Minnesota are clearly bogus and the date 1800 appears to be either an error or somebody's idea of a joke. The other three are important historic points, but they are boundary points, appropriated rather than created by NGS. The one in Maryland set in 1765 was apparently first used by NGS in 1961. The one in Massachusetts set in 1825 to mark the boundary with New Hampshire seems to have been first used for geodetic purposes in 1912. The one in South Carolina, on the boundary with North Carolina, known as Commissioner's Rock, was visited in 1813 by Andrew Ellicott, who is among the most renowned surveyors in American history having laid out the boundary lines of several states during his illustrious career. Its location was observed using GPS during a joint ceremonial project conducted by surveyors from the surrounding states just a few years ago. So none of these would be considered among the oldest benchmarks, although they are marvelous old boundary corners.

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Great list Jeremy.

 

I wanted to see if any were near me so I put them on a Tiger map. If you want to wait for the download of large tiger maps you can check these out:

 

USA overview

NE concentration

 

The blue marks are the 6 that Jeremy linked to, the rest are the others on his list. None of them are near to me, but some of you may have one in you area.

 

I'm not lost!

I just don't know where I am.

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Many of the benchmarks in Jeremy's list are not found or otherwise not available according to the description. For now, I am focusing on all 95 benchmarks in his list. One entry was duplicated at the end.

 

Summerized by state:

CA 1

CT 5

DE 2

KY 1

MA 43

MD 4

MN 1

NH 7

NJ 4

NY 12

OH 1

PA 4

RI 8

SC 1

VT 1

 

Summerized by state and county:

CA,SAN DIEGO 1

CT,FAIRFIELD 2

CT,NEW HAVEN 1

CT,NEW LONDON 2

DE,NEW CASTLE 1

DE,SUSSEX 1

KY,NELSON 1

MA,BARNSTABLE 4

MA,BERKSHIRE 6

MA,BRISTOL 7

MA,DUKES 4

MA,ESSEX 5

MA,FRANKLIN 2

MA,HAMPDEN 2

MA,HAMPSHIRE 3

MA,MIDDLESEX 1

MA,NANTUCKET 1

MA,PLYMOUTH 5

MA,WORCESTER 3

MD,ANNE ARUNDEL 2

MD,CECIL 1

MD,HARFORD 1

MN,LAKE OF THE WOOD 1

NH,HILLSBOROUGH 1

NH,ROCKINGHAM 6

NJ,CAMDEN 1

NJ,MONMOUTH 3

NY,NASSAU 2

NY,SUFFOLK 9

NY,WESTCHESTER 1

OH,GREENE 1

PA,BUCKS 1

PA,DELAWARE 2

PA,MONTGOMERY 1

RI,PROVIDENCE 1

RI,WASHINGTON 7

SC,OCONEE 1

VT,WINDHAM 1

 

Summarized by quadrangle (state/county placed at the end to help locate it):

 

BAY SHORE EAST (1979) 2 NY,SUFFOLK

KINGSTON (1975) 2 RI,WASHINGTON

KITTERY (1989) 5 NH,ROCKINGHAM

LLOYD HARBOR (1967) 2 NY,SUFFOLK

NARRAGANSETT PIER (1975) 2 RI,WASHINGTON

SANDY HOOK (1981) 2 NJ,MONMOUTH

SAYVILLE (1976) 2 NY,SUFFOLK

SEA CLIFF (1979) 2 NY,NASSAU

SPARROWS POINT (1974) 2 MD,ANNE ARUNDEL

WESTPORT (1977) 3 MA,BRISTOL

Quads with 1 benchmark: 41

No Quad listed 30

 

Summerized by marker type:

BOLT 9

CAP OF CAP-AND-BOLT PAIR 1

CHURCH SPIRE 4

DOME 1

DRILL HOLE 5

EARTHENWARE JUG 1

GLASS BOTTLE 1

HORIZONTAL CONTROL DISK 1

LIGHTHOUSE 18

NOT SPECIFIED OR SEE DESCRIPTION 3

SEE DESCRIPTION 15

STONE MONUMENT 5

SURVEY DISK 1

TRIANGULATION STATION DISK 2

WINDMILL 1

Not Listed 27

 

Of particular interest:

earthenware jug: JU3343 (PA/DELAWARE)

glass bottle: LX5131 (CT/NEW LONDON)

windmill: LW4282 (MA/DUKES)

 

Summerized by last recovery:

1800 1

1833 1

1835 5

1837 2

1907 1

1932 1

1934 8

1935 4

1938 1

1940 1

1943 2

1951 6

1952 1

1953 4

1954 2

1955 1

1956 2

1959 1

1960 1

1961 3

1963 2

1964 1

1966 2

1967 1

1972 2

1974 1

1975 1

1980 1

1981 2

1982 2

1984 2

1985 1

1986 1

1988 1

1990 4

1991 2

1992 1

1994 1

1995 5

1996 3

1998 3

2000 2

2001 3

2002 3

 

Remember that some of these are not found recoveries. Of the 8 benchmarks recovered since 2000, all are good recoveries and one was by an indivdual (MZ1504) but there is not an entry on geocaching for it.

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quote:
Originally posted by survey tech:

In an earlier message I guessed that the oldest true NGS point still in existence was probably from the 1830s... The other three are important historic points, but they are boundary points, appropriated rather than created by NGS. The one in Maryland set in 1765 was apparently first used by NGS in 1961. The one in Massachusetts set in 1825 to mark the boundary with New Hampshire seems to have been first used for geodetic purposes in 1912. The one in South Carolina, on the boundary with North Carolina, known as Commissioner's Rock, was visited in 1813 by Andrew Ellicott... So none of these would be considered among the oldest benchmarks, although they are marvelous old boundary corners.


 

Sandy Hook Lighthouse was first lighted June 18, 1764. As a control point (horizontal), it was first observed (appropriated) in 1835 by CGS as KV4984 (Finial) and KV4987 (Light).

 

By the standard above, it is only among the oldest, but, by placemant date (before appropriation) it predates the others in the list.

 

Anyone got anything older?

 

[This message was edited by Circum on October 30, 2002 at 11:54 AM.]

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GF0599 Field notes Department of the Interior,At Seligman Barry Co. Mo. The copper bolt was recvered as described in litographed list dated 2-28-1850...

 

When all else fails Geotry again.

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For history buff's, got to check out the old photo's and you thought your job was tough!

 

NGS History

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I knew this area had some history... Today I found the Geocache "John Short 1754 Benchmark" by Ted. The cache was located near a colonial property boundary. The Marker had "John Short, 1754" inscribed into it. I may post pictures later.

 

[This message was edited by TeacherMatt on December 15, 2002 at 07:08 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by TeacherMatt on December 16, 2002 at 04:39 AM.]

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Here are pictures of the marker in King George VA.

 

icon_biggrin.gif

 

[This message was edited by TeacherMatt on December 16, 2002 at 08:16 PM.]

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No...it is not in the database. The closest marker to this cache is 2.68 miles away. I thought it was a neat historical marker, though.

 

TeacherMatt

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What is the exact historic background of the marker, I assume it refers to the Colonial settlement and the original settlers. I am little behind on my early U.S. history but would love to hear it if you have something.

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I don't know any of the history yet icon_frown.gif. I plan to head back in the spring to check out the bald eagles, and I will see if the park has any more history on the marker.

 

[This message was edited by TeacherMatt on December 18, 2002 at 07:40 AM.]

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We found an old benchmark today dated 1906. Located at 43 16.005N 112 13.807W. Designation is X6and OY0219. Pictures are OY0219 and OY0219A. This may not seem old by East Coast standards but for Idaho, it is the oldest - by far - that we have found.

 

[This message was edited by DCJ on January 26, 2003 at 08:19 PM.]

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Thats an especially good one all right. You may search for years without finding an older one of the disk or cap type. The oldest stamped marker I have ever found also dated from 1906 and I believe that may have been the first full year they used markers of that type, although they may have started using them on a limited basis earlier, so there may be some a few years older out there somewhere.

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This spire was not described until 1935, but the building was dedicated MAY 28, 1775! Looks to be the original steeple.

 

"Why worry when you can obsess?"

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On a trip to locate an old fire tower to hide a cache the other day, I found a mountain with a cool name on my GPSr screen. I called my brother and told him that I had visited the 'PENITENTIARY'. Well, since I'm a deputy, he probably didn't think too much about it. I visited one of his caches tonight and did a search of nearby benchmarks and was surprised to see PENITENTIARY listed icon_eek.gif Althought it's not an actual disk, I logged it since I visited it last week. It was first observed and logged in 1885 icon_smile.gif Here's the link:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.asp?PID=DH2453

 

Jeff

http://www.StarsFellOnAlabama.com

http://www.NotAChance.com

If you hide it, they will come....

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EH2910 This Stone marks the Base Established November 10,1815,From which the Lands of the Louisiana Purchase were Surveyed by the United States Engineers. The first survey from this point was made to satisfy the claim of the soldiers of the war of 1812 with Land Bounties.

 

When all else fails Geotry again.

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We came across one looking for a cache the other day. Took picures, coords, dated 1952, & the only # that you could see on it. But we can't find it in the Benchmark list. It's our first BM find. Can anyone help?

rocker51

icon_frown.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by ron50eli:

We came across one looking for a cache the other day. Took picures, coords, dated 1952, & the only # that you could see on it. But we can't find it in the Benchmark list. It's our first BM find. Can anyone help?

rocker51

icon_frown.gif


 

If you would post your question in a new thread and not as a not-on-topic message at the end of this long thread, you will get a better response. Also, provide the coordinates, what was stamped on the disk and pictures if possible. Otherwise, we have nothing to go on.

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Today I found three 1935 benchmarks. I know that these do not compare with what you folks have found -- but I am excited to have found some that have weathered about 68 years.JC0100 was the most interesting

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I live in klamath ca and there are several old benchmarks around where I live.The reason I find them interesting is the way they are marked.They are marked by a bottle buried 3 feet deep.On the surface there are 3 stubs(I assume wooden stakes)with a copper tack in each stub.The stubs are located 1 foot away from the bottle in a north,east,and west direction.These buried bottles would be a very cool find.If you would like to look at the benchmarks in my area the zip code is 95548.A couple of benchmark #'s with these markings are, LV 1091 monumented 1873,LV 1092 monumented 1872, and LV 1094 monumented 1872 icon_biggrin.gif

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ANOTHER NOMINATION

 

It's been a while since this topic was discussed, but I came across an interesting stone that may qualify as the oldest benchmark. HU1686 is Boundary Monument EW 20 DE/MD. I have confirmed with the Delaware Geological Society that this stone was set in 1751/52 by the Transpeninsular Survey, as the 20-Mile (from the start of the DE/MD line at Fenwick Island, DE/Ocean City, MD) stone. The "mark" is the stone, itself, not a disk mounted in the top (like HU1800 and HU1443, for example). It was not "monumented" by NGS until 1974, however.

The western terminus of the Transpeninsular Line was used by Mason and Dixon in or about 1764 as the starting point for their famous line. See HU1800.

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ANOTHER NOMINATION

 

It's been a while since this topic was discussed, but I came across an interesting stone that may qualify as the oldest benchmark. HU1686 is Boundary Monument EW 20 DE/MD. I have confirmed with the Delaware Geological Society that this stone was set in 1751/52 by the Transpeninsular Survey, as the 20-Mile (from the start of the DE/MD line at Fenwick Island, DE/Ocean City, MD) stone. The "mark" is the stone, itself, not a disk mounted in the top (like HU1800 and HU1443, for example). It was not "monumented" by NGS until 1974, however.

The western terminus of the Transpeninsular Line was used by Mason and Dixon in or about 1764 as the starting point for their famous line. See HU1800.

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It is not in the Data base but I finally got that 383 year old onr there at Plymouth you know the one Plymouth Rock,and I am not sure of the dates on some of these others but ......

Plymouth National Monument

Plymouth Rock is not to far from here.

Standish Monument

 

The 1st Military Leader of America

 

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS

*GEOTRYAGAIN*

TAKE PRIDE IN AMERICA

http://www.doi.gov/news/front_current.html

1803-2003

"LOUSIANA PURCHASE"

http://www.lapurchase.org

"LEWIS AND CLARK EXPADITION"

http://lewisclark.geog.missouri.edu/index

 

Arkansas Missouri Geocachers Association

www.ARK-MOGeocachers@yahoogroups.com

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Any Oregon Benchmark hunters out there? What are the oldest benchmarks in Oregon that still can be found?

 

Thanks,

 

-Jon

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the oldest benchmark in North Carolina is was set in 1849.

 

Actually, Neweyess and I have recovered marks from 1813 and 1815 along the southern border of North Carolina. With the assistance of the State/County Boundary Specialist at NCGS, we are pouring over records of surveys done in the 1700's in the hope of finding evidence of our ancestors' work.

 

It became obvious very quickly that it will not be bronze disks set in a 10-inch concrete..........excuse me.....what's that pile of rocks, next to the tree with a scar on the trunk?

 

-Paul-

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My favorite old benchmark is this one: KV4020. Monumented in 1867, moved in 1922 (?) Remonumented with a lead-filled drill hole in 1932. KV4023

Though, I'd almost call it vandalism to drill a hole in a 65-year-old marble slab! :laughing:

(I have a cache nearby, with spectacular views across the Hudson.)

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The monuments in the Highlands portion of the Maine / Canada boundary were all set in 1843 - 1845. There all there to this day, easy to find. Here's one I've been to a couple of times: QH0376 "MON 445 IBC"

 

95033590-8209-46bc-a3f0-5c9b64b5aa9d.jpg

 

Pb

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Here's a little twist on this subject: What recoveries have you done with the longest time interval since the last recorded recovery (either on the NGS datasheets, or here on the Geocaching site)? Surprisingly, the two longest interval finds that I made were "accidental". I was out there to climb some mountain peaks and found the old disks when I got there. They are:

 

QG1360 - Moxie (Franklin county, Maine), Monumented 1902, no recorded recoveries. 103 years.

 

QH0256 - Snow IBC (Franklin county, Maine), Monumented 1915, no recorded recoveries. 89 years.

 

I've logged them both with the NGS.

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC

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A lot of the oldest bm's are in New England. These are the bm's that I like to look for the best. Some of my old finds are.

MZ1502 1832 FTF oldest in MA.

MZ1615 1832 2ND

MZ1702 1833 2ND

MY3611 1834

MY3617 1834 FTF oldest in RI

MY2666 1834 FTF oldest in NH

LW5088 1835 FTF

MZ1913 1836 FTF oldest in VT

MZ1700 1837 FTF

OC2210 1842 FTF oldest in ME

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I have recovered a 1909 Primative travel station bench mark # 4. USC&GS TRINGULATION station Fortune 1961 near Stamped "FORTUNE 1961",near BM 1526, 1923, as witnessed by Mr. Patton the Brass monument is in the old garden and in good shape with one plow mark across it!

Since this one I have found one 1877,and one 1892.

Not the oldest here but it is for me.

 

CV

 

BOUNDARY MON 73 WP

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