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Maybe new marks to NGS?


genegene
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This past week I found out that the Mass Highway Survey and Layout Plans website has lots of data on Non NGS Benchmarks and some NGS marks that they have all over the State. Here is an example of one http://www.mhd.state.ma.us/mhds/main.asp?A...FEATUREIDS=4241 . This one is on the USGS Topo maps but not in the NGS Data sheets.

 

There are many more marks that are on the Topo maps but not listed anywhere else but here on the Mass Highway site they are available to look up.

 

That got me to thinking that the state boundary marks must be here somewhere as well. Here in the State of Massachusetts between the years of 1898 and 1916 the state marked there boundary's with nice granite markers almost 4ft tall with about 3 underground.

A 5/8-INCH DRILL HOLE IN TOP OF A 12-INCH BY 12-INCH GRANITE BOUND, 4.6 FEET HIGH AND DRESSED 3 FEET FROM THE TOP, LETTERED N.Y. ON ONE SIDE, MASS ON ANOTHER, AND 1898 ON A THIRD SIDE.

 

I looked all around the site and could not find them, and the NGS only has a few of them listed on there list. There are 3 cachers including my self that enjoy looking for these marks when ever we are near the border and I have found 3 that are not listed on the USGS topo maps which leads me to believe that they were never entered into any data base.

 

I sent a e-mail over them and got a reply back giving me all of the town boundary marks via another link to try, There were very few of those markers that I could use and most were not where they were not what I was looking for. I sent another e-mail back to them with images of what I was looking for in more detail.

 

The very next day I got a phone call (yup, they called me) from the Mass Highway S&LP with good and bad news about my request. The good news is that they know exactly what I am looking for and have what I need. The bad news is that there is no .gpx file for them. Its all on paper and they don't have it read for the public yet. They have been slowly working on it for a while and my request is going to help them get the motivation to get it up a little faster.

 

Once it is ready Michael is going to either send me the info or have it up on the site for me and send me the link some time after thanksgiving

 

I know that Curt Crow who works for the NGS out here in Mass has been in the loop as to my request as his name is on the Cc when I got the reply from Michael.

 

When I get all this info I would like to turn it into a .gpx file/files for north, south, west, and east if they put any on the coast. All of this data needs to be inputted into a format like GSAK (I recommend it) so it is easily can be turned into a .gpx format for your GPS.

 

If I did all of this on my own it will take quite a bit of time to do, so I am asking for some help from fellow Benchmarkes and geocachers alike to help me mark all of this data for a GPS.

 

Once I have all of the data complected I am planing on sending the completed list to both Michael and Curt so they have a list that is ready for them to enter into there data bases for easier access. If we wait for them to do it, it will take quite a bit of time since everyone is hurting in the government, State and Federal and they have to keep priorities first.

 

I'm thinking that there are around 250 - 300 (I could be wrong though)

 

I do not know if any or all of these new marks can be listed on the NGS website yet and am waiting for a reply back from Mr. Crow about them.

 

So once I get this info, anyone want to help me on my task.

 

Gene G.

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NGS has stringent requirements on the procedures to collect data and the form of submissions for their data base. I'm not sure this is the latest or all-encompassing, but will give you a flavor:

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/INFO/incorp_data.shtml

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PUBS_LIB/NSDI_Lapine.html

http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/FGCS/BlueBook/

 

They mention conventional horizontal control (with theodolite measurements) but NGS has announced that they have stopped accepting new stations of that type.

 

If the highway dept wants to do it, they will know how, but I don't think there is much you can do from outside their department to help.

Edited by Bill93
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I'm not sure if they could become NGS marks but it would be nice if they could.

 

I'm mostly looking for help to get them formatted off of paper into a .gpx format.

 

If the data is good enough for NGS marks that would be the added bonus.

 

Im going to try and get a sample tomorow to see what is in them and post it here.

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That got me to thinking that the state boundary marks must be here somewhere as well. Here in the State of Massachusetts between the years of 1898 and 1916 the state marked there boundary's with nice granite markers almost 4ft tall with about 3 underground.

A 5/8-INCH DRILL HOLE IN TOP OF A 12-INCH BY 12-INCH GRANITE BOUND, 4.6 FEET HIGH AND DRESSED 3 FEET FROM THE TOP, LETTERED N.Y. ON ONE SIDE, MASS ON ANOTHER, AND 1898 ON A THIRD SIDE.

I guess this is one of these granite boundary monuments. In this case it marks the Massachusetts-Connecticut state line between Dudley, Massachusetts and Thompson, Connecticut. The marker was set in 1906 and is located along Dresser Hill Road (Route 31). For some reason the top of the marker has a little drill hole in the middle and also shows two small round notches. One of these notches is covered with a little metal cap. I have searched it in the NGS database but couldn't find a listed station.

 

d30b600f-fbf2-4959-8352-b204c4923cd6.jpg

 

aa9cc40b-c76e-4e3d-81fa-b65434597e77.jpg

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Yup, these are the markers that I am referring to.

 

As to what those two other marks on the top are, your guess is as good as mine right now. If I did have to guess I would say that they have something to with the town lines.

Until I can get the paperwork there is no way to tell for sure.

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I have seen several of these markers around Massachusett. It looks like they were set from north to south in some way. Some of these markers are waymarked in the category U.S. Historic Survey Stones and Monuments.

 

Here is another nice photo from a boundary marker located along the old Mason Railroad Trail between the towns of Townsend, MA and Mason, NH. This one is from 1894. Look at the bottom of the marker. You can see a black painted T and 98, a sign of perambulation.

 

3d386025-de26-4a35-93a3-eef38e466a61.jpg

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I have seen several of these markers around Massachusetts. It looks like they were set from north to south in some way.

 

They were set around the border with one side on mass and the other on the other states side. You may also find ones like this at town borders. It was quite common to see them there to.

 

You can see a black painted T and 98, a sign of perambulation.

 

What does preambulation mean?

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IDENTIFYING STATE LINE MARKERS ON TOPO MAPS

 

Granite monuments sometimes appear on topo maps as small squares along the state boundary. [Click here for example.] Give this a try. I hope you are rewarded with success.

 

In 2005, the North Carolina Geodetic Survey was embarking on a project to find some of the "missing" markers set in the late 1800s at 5-mile intervals along the NC-VA state line. Using online topo maps, I "flew" along the line, looking for squares. As I found them, I zoomed in very close in GoogleEarth and used the cursor to determine the approximate coordinates. I provided NCGS with the coordinates, plus aerial photos, for every marker that appeared on the maps.

 

When the expedition returned, NCGS staffers showed me photos of their finds. They said my information was very accurate and extremely helpful. In several cases, knowing the location in advance allowed them to contact one US Government facility and several property owners to get pre-trip permission to hunt.

 

GEOCAC tracked down the last "missing" marker a few weeks later, but in this case, LUCK played a big part, as I admit in my log. :unsure:

 

-Paul-

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Hay PPF,

 

I have been useing the topo maps a lot to help figure out where they might be/sould be.

 

After looking more on my end of pictures I have taken of markers along roads crossing from one state to another I can now conferm that there are 5 that I know of that are not on the USGS maps.

3 are at:

 

42° 19.817

73° 25.125

 

42° 19.829

73° 25.121

 

42° 19.870

73° 25.106

 

One of the 5 (not listed) is a smaller marker with nothing on it but it lines up perfictly with the border.

 

By the way the coords I listed are not dead on as I am useing google earth to give an idea as to where they are.

 

When I do start my full treck I am going to let any porperty owners know what I am doing before going on there lands and get there permision first.

 

Looking at the topo maps for the southwestern corner of Mass it looks like its going to be one heck of a hike.

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Here is an interesting bit of law:

-----------------------------------

 

Chapter 1: Section 4. Commonwealth boundary markers; inspection, restoration and repair

 

Section 4. The department of highways, in this chapter called the department, shall in the year nineteen hundred and thirty-five and in every fifth year thereafter inspect all monuments or other marks defining the location of the boundary lines of the commonwealth, and if any of them have been injured, displaced, removed or lost the department shall, in co-operation with persons duly authorized by the adjoining state, restore them or replace them with suitable stone monuments, and in the same manner set suitable stone monuments at points not properly marked where the state boundary is intersected by the boundary of any counties, cities or towns in the commonwealth or by a highway or railroad. If officers of adjoining states are required to make such inspection at other times, the department may co-operate with them.

 

--------------------------------

 

Not sure when it was done last LOL

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You can see a black painted T and 98, a sign of perambulation.

What does preambulation mean?

Some moons ago I found a weird looking granite post along an old logging road. There was a small book in a trail-head box nearby with the following description of this marker:

 

... In the early days the boundary lines the area's towns were often in dispute. Because boundary shenanigans did occur, it became law that "Every seven years the town boundary shall be perambulated" ... (walked and inspected by the Selectmen), "and the markers and bounds renewed. If they failed to carry out that duty, they were fined. While that law has since been repealed, the dates on the granite post show that at least some Selectmen took their duty seriously.

 

Here is the complete forum post from me that shows this marker. Not a state boundary but a town boundary marker.

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