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Identifying a benchmark disk


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My father worked for the USGS from late 1942 to early 1947. Surveying East of the Mississippi primarily in the FL panhandle, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and KY. Some parts of NY also. In going through his 'stuff' I came across a USGS disk triangulation station marker marked "PRESTON 1927". He said he thought it was a disk he replaced or re-set but couldn't remember where. He was quite sure it was in the south. Is there any way to find the original location of this survey disk? It was a paper weight on his desk for 66+ years. Now it is a paper weight on my desk.

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Whose disk is it? Is it marked National Geodetic Survey or USGS? I did a quick check of the National Geodetic Survey’s online database and did not find anything in the states you mentioned that fit your description.


There are lots of survey marks that are not on the NGS database. USGS seems to have all their marks on paper, so no searching by computer.


Some states have marks on their own database but they may not have older marks.



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Unless is was in the NGS data base the likely-hood of finding where it came from is slim. USGS did not computerize survey mark records, they are stored in paper files by area, the station name will not help. They need a geographic area (latitude & longitude) to look for records and it has to be narrowed done to a small area because the only way to find it is to read the records line by line. Something like a GPS location is needed.


Wikipedia list a few areas with the name, several fit the areas he was in.


United States

Preston, Connecticut

Preston, Georgia

Preston, Idaho

Preston, Indiana

Preston, Iowa

Preston, Kansas

Preston, Kentucky

Preston, Maryland

Preston, Minnesota

Preston, Mississippi

Preston, Missouri

Preston, Nebraska

Preston, Nevada

Preston, New York

Preston, North Carolina

Preston, Oklahoma

Preston, Texas

Preston, Washington

Preston, West Virginia

Preston County, West Virginia

Preston, Adams County, Wisconsin, a town

Preston, Grant County, Wisconsin, an unincorporated community

Preston, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, a town

Edited by Z15
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It is NOT.... (this is a destroyed mark)


DG7570 (Preston, Maryland) 1955 Maryland Border Commission disk


For a somewhat 'generous' definition of 'the south' this is the only station listed as destroyed with that name...


It is also NOT... (these are not shown as destroyed)


EH2922 Preston, Arkansas (1965 disk)

AD6772 Preston, Florida (unrecovered disk, but dated 1970)

CM1814 Preston, Georgia (1973 disk)

HZ0923 Preston, Kentucky (unrecovered disk, dated 1947, 'owner' not listed, but description attributed to C&GS) placed by FXP

GY3238 Preston, also Kentucky (1934 disk, last reported at 'good' in 1949 by LWS, but could not be occupied due to later construction, and replaced with PRESTON 2)

HD0638 Preston, Missouri (1928 CGS disk, but recovered in 1958)

HE0984 Preston, also Missouri (1928 CGS disk, but still extant in 2006)

FY3522 Preston, North Carolina (1969 disk)

FZ1405 Preston, also North Carolina (1968 disk)

EY5715 Preston, also North Carolina (1978 disk)

AH2658 Preston, also North Carolina (1986 disk)

DN1206 Preston, Texas (unrecovered disk, but dated 1955)


The Kentucky disks were placed around that time period, and HZ0923 seems 'interesting'... so looked further.


The 1953 USGS topographic map shows a benchmark at the indicated coordinates, with a 1953 field check. It's impossible to be 'definitive' (unless your father's initials are FXP), but it seems plausible to be that the disk placed in 1947 was a replacement, not stamped reset because it was placed over an existing underground mark, and that it was a joint surveying team. Unfortunately this is total guesswork, and not substantiated by the notes on the NGS datasheet. CGS benchmarks seem to have been rarely shown with an actual benchmark symbol on old topo maps, though. The reference and azimuth marks were also placed in 1947, but it's possible that a 1927 survey did not place any.


If you want to research this further, I'd suggest pinging USGS with the coords N38 40 58.10710 W085 12 38.66037 and seeing if they have anything interesting to say. None of the others seem likely.


Or, I might be totally out to lunch, lol.

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<a href=DSC03728_zpsvqsxgesr.jpg' alt='DSC03728_


Awakening an old thread I started and forgot about. Thank you folks for responding. My Father is almost 95 and while he is very sharp and has a pretty good memory he is not sure where this was. He THINKS maybe it was KY. But he remembers it was removed to replace a mark that was "repositioned". I have tried to post a picture not sure if it was sucessful. Disc marked US Coast & Geodetic Survey, Triangulation station. Preston 1927.

Edited by sportclay
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