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Unlisted Benchmarks as Vitual Caches?

Mark 42

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I found one in Banner Forest (Port Orchard, WA)


Its says "Dept of Natural resources, Washington" around the perimiter with

T32N R2E






State Prop



In the center.


Coords N47° 29.2955' W122° 32.8410'


I was wondering if it is in some dadta base, and considered it for a Virtual, or maybe part of a Multi Cache (can you use what would be a virtual in a multi?).


"I'm not Responsible... just ask my wife, She'll confirm it"

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I think that using a benchmark as part of a multi-cache is an interesting way to introduce other cachers to benchmarking. I have a virtual I've placed that uses a benchmark in a similar way. I do know, however, that using a benchmark solely as a virtual or locationless cache is not allowed.


BTW: What you found is not a benchmark though, and consequently will (most likely) not be found in either the geocaching or NGS databases. A quick search of the coordinates you provided show the closest mark to be SY2885 - a television mast located 0.75 miles south.


What you did find was a Section Corner marker. Public lands states (which Washington is) uses a township & range grid system as a basis to define properties. These townships are then divided into sections and there is a monument placed at each of the section corners. The marker shows that you found a corner for Section 16 in Township 32 North, Range 2 East, in the Willamette Meridian and Base Line (which is used as a basis for both Oregon and Washington). I would assume by the lines you show on your sketch of the monument that it's the southwest corner of Section 16. A good description of Public Lands Survey System in Washington can be found HERE.


Incedentally, Section 16 is traditionally called the 'School Section'. When the Public Lands System was being developed, it was decided that one section in each township should be dedicated for school purposes. Section 16 was the one that was decided on for that purpose.


Keep on Caching! (and Benchmarking!)

- Kewaneh

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I've been told (but haven't verified) that some property is earmarked for schools... that is, the schools occasionally sell timber from it and use the proceeds for special spending projects and such.


It used to be DNR land, but was given to the county, so I'm not sure how that affected the markers (monuments) and the property usage.


It is a nice patch of forest, and even though it's only 640 Acres (about 2 miles on each side) the trails run in al sorts of directions (except straight) and a person can get turned around and spend hours trying to find a trail that leads back to a road (don't ask how I know this...)


"I'm not Responsible... just ask my wife, She'll confirm it"

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Section 16 is not used exclusively for school purposes any more. The designation as a 'School Section' came from the late 1700's when the Founding Fathers were trying to determine the best way to to divide these newly aquired lands. The system they devised is now known as the Public Lands Survey System, also known as the Township & Range System, and is still in use today.


The creators of this system earmarked the use of Section 16 to be used for school purposes. Sometimes it was used as the place that the school was actually built when a new town was developed, however, usually it was the proceeds of the sale, and the taxes that came from the sale, of Section 16 (from the Government to an individual) that went toward the school in the area.


Incedentally, a Township is 6 miles square (6x6) (and the southeast corner of Section 16 is the center of the Township). Each Township is divided into 36 sections, each section being one mile square, and being 640 acres square.


Keep on Caching! (and Benchmarking!)

- Kewaneh

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