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Found a survey disc - can't find it in database


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Hey everyone,


I found a very prominent survey disc today while visiting a picnic area near Moore Resevoir here in Littleton, NH. The disc is embedded in a piece of granite about 2 feet tall and surrounded by a small metal fence. It surprised me to not be able to find it in the database because it is such an obvious marker. here is a photo of it




I was hoping somebody more seasoned than me might be able to shed some light on this for me.....am I just searching wrong or is it really not in the database?



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It looks like the Vermont - New Hampshire boundary was in dispute, and Vermont sued its neighbor in the U.S. Supreme Court to adjudicate the matter.


(Normally, the high court handles only appeals, but in limited circumstances, including when one state sues another, it has "original jurisdiction," and hears the case as a trial court.)


In the case of Vermont v. New Hampshire, 290 U.S. 579 (1934), the court defined the boundary on the western side of the Connecticut River and identified numerous points along the boundary to be marked by monuments. The court went on, "Samuel S. Gannett, Esq., is hereby appointed special commissioner to locate and mark upon the ground the boundary line at the points specified herein, and to make record of the point so marked with all convenient speed."


Apparently that "convenient speed" took 18 years, since the disk pictured is dated 1952.


According to Joseph Francis Zimmerman, the dispute is an old one, dating back to 1782, so maybe the slow rotation of the wheels of justice is understandable. Zimmerman says Vermont filed suit in 1915; if he's referring to the case decided in 1934, that would make this a very long process indeed.


Zimmerman says that in 2004, the two state attorneys general met on a bridge over the Connecticut River to continue a seven decades long tradition of meeting ever seven years to ensure the monuments are still in place. Unclear if they continued the tradition this year.


Although this mark is not in the NGS database — most survey disks of all the various flavors are not — there probably is a special publication somewhere that provides a detailed listing of all the marks along the boundary. A university or state library in Vermont or New Hampshire likely would have it.



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Here is some more reading to go with the excellent information provided by ArtMan (which was extremely interesting). You'll need to scroll down the page some.




Maybe Papa-Bear-NYC can shed some more light on these boundary markers, as has found several of them previously and has written about them in these forums. The pics below are from his posts/logs.







Edited by LSUFan
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What a great find! As others have pointed out, this is not a geodetic marker, but rather a cadastral marker to delineate the Vermont - New Hampshire state line. As ArtMan and LSUFan discovered, the boundary was adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1934, and survey markers were placed shortly thereafter:



This publication lists all of them with descriptions, sketches and Lat/Long (in an obsolete datum).

The marker you found is somewhat unique for a couple reasons: It is located on the NH side of the boundary, (because the boundary is the historic low-water mark on the west side of the river, the other markers are all in Vermont), and it was set at a later date. The latter was due to the building of the Samuel Moore Dam, completed in 1956. As you can see below in the 1936 publication, although a dam at this location was already contemplated, no construction had been begun.


Judging from the sketch, the monuments on the VT side, 46 & 47, may still exist, but someone must have felt it necessary to add the one you found. I don't think they point to the same place on the boundary, but I don't know the coordinates of the marker you found, only the bearing and distance stamped on it. Very few of these monuments are included in the NGS database used by Geocaching, so if you want to log it, Waymarking is your best bet.

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Very interesting information! I might have to find 46 & 47 on the vermont side just for fun. Also, just as a side note when that dam was built they had to move two townships including a few cemeteries. You can still find pieces of buildings and fences floating in the reservoir, interesting "driftwood".

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Interesting topic. I did spend some time in the most northerly part of the boundary.


I think this one is the coolest (#91):




You will note that it says the boundary is 1 foot from the disk. Guess what is one foot away:




It's the edge of the rock. This rock marks the northernmost point of the boundary - it's IN the river on the west side. It's at the very point in the little triangle of Vermont that sticks eastward into New Hampshire. The rock is down the hill about 100 yards from that marker (#90) shown above which is on the side of the road.

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC
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