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Southpaw and I took the day off geocaching to hunt benchmarks but we wanted to find one a little different and with a more of a challenge. W chose GC2163 HERE because it was placed in 1879 and never been recovered in all that time and we found out why. We started out at 8:am with back packs full of every thing we thought we would need ( shovels, probes, ect. ) for the trek. The hike was about two miles and elevation change of 450 feet. We got back to the truck about five hours later happy and tired but just as satisfied as if we have found a 5/5 cache. The STONE INK JUG FILLED WITH ASHES does anybody why they did this. …..JOE

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This really is excellent, Joe and Southpaw. 'Awesome' is right. I've had miserable luck lately finding benchmarks set in the 1970s, so this one really impresses me.


Could you fill us in a bit on whether the original 1879 description was of any help. And how accurate were the (scaled) coordinates?


Make sure you report this one to NGS!

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The description was right on and so was the coordinates that was hard to believe, while we were there messing around we laid our gps’r down on the center stone and it zero out after about five minutes. JOE


I have never reported one to the NGS before but I think I will try to do this on

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That's an amazing find, JoGPS! Very cool.


The 'STONE INK JUG FILLED WITH ASHES' was set underground of the mark to help determine the true position of the mark if the surface mark were to be knocked out. In more recent times, large blocks of concrete have been set underground with a cap, identical to the surface monument, set in it. One of the purposes for using something as seemingly strange as a jar filled with ashes is so it could not be mistaken for a natural object. It was also probably easier to carry and/or carve than another stone monument. The surveyors had to carry the marking stones as well as their equipment, and many times the stones were carved onsite. (Just think about what you were carrying on your five hour hike.)


Something that is important to remember about special artifacts like this: DO NOT dig them up. They are a part of the monument and moving it would be similar to pulling up a brass disk to see what the bottom looked like.


Keep on Caching!

- Kewaneh

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Thats an excellent find, a classic example of the high quality of the early work. It appears that most of the geodetic work in that area was done in 1934 and 1960, but none of the stations set or used at those times list this point among their reference objects, so for some reason it appears that it was seldom if ever used. I suspect it may be either because it was surrounded by overgrowth, making it difficult to achieve visibility, or because access to it was relatively difficult, or both. It was probably one of the first geodetic points established in Wilson County, there is only one listed, Lebanon North Base 1877, that is older. The spot chosen for this marker in 1879 proved to be of relatively scant use, since the area has remained mostly unchanged by development over the years, but because of the absence of development, the marker has survived, meaning that it is now of significant historical value. It could be the only surviving marker of its specific type in Tennessee. Like all remote old markers, it may be that the best way for it to contimue to survive is to just leave it alone in its remote anonymity, which has served it well for all these years. If, however, there is any chance that development may threaten its existence in the forseeable future, steps should be taken, in cooperation with state and/or county historical societies, and the state society of surveyors, to protect it from destruction, either accidental or deliberate. Since it was set in 1879, next year will be its 125th anniversary. It would be interesting to try to research the date it was set and arrange for a comemorative ceremony on that date, dedicating it as a historic monument. There may be some surveyors in Tennessee who would be interested in doing this. Anyway, its a great example of the kind of points that are still out there in the parts of the country that have been untouched by civilization, which as I have said before, are the ones that really need to be found, in the sense of being rediscovered, verified and preserved, rather than those in the urban and suburban areas, which are so frequently used that seeing them is really more like visiting than finding

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Joe and Southpaw - Absolutely fantastic! You mention that the description was right on. Are the landmarks referred to in the datasheet (Courthouse at Lebanon, Echo Valley Stock Farm, and Frank McDaniels house) still there, or did you need to talk to some of the locals to determine their former locations? I'm really curious, because this was so LONG ago it's hard to believe everything is still there! Keep up the great work! BTW, to me this would be better than a 5/5 cache, because of the historical significance.



"You see, you spend a good deal of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." Jim Bouton

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Everything is still there except for everyone mention is dead, but its still in the same family. ( she is 93 years old and is thinking about selling the place several hundred acres. As we were hiking in there was the absents of any old remains of building or anything. Just the building they were using old share croppers house and two old barns.



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