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1934 Us Supreme Court Border Survey Mark

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I literally stumbled across this while searching for another nearby mark. The coords are N44 09.259 W072 02.489 which place it on the New Hampshire side of the border (I was standing in Vermont).


A little history that I came upon since then. The mark is the result of a land dispute between VT and NH. The court case made it to the US Supreme Court which decreed that as a result of the survey promulgated by them, the border would become official. Has anyone else ever seen something similar?


The border dispute arose after New Hampshire claimed that its border went up a small river that fed into the Connecticut River (the natural border between the two states) thereby laying claim to a small (and I mean small) section of Vermont. I wonder how many others lay along the border undiscovered?


The mark is gorgeous. It is in pristine condition even after 70 years which is surprising after the considerable work that was done to the railroad crossing that the mark sits up against.


It is a cast raised-lettered mark also. Has anyone come upon such a thing? At first I couldnt imagine individually stamped marks from individual molds, but on closer inspection, the distance and location are hand stamped.


I am pretty proud of this one and am wondering if anyone else can shed light on where/how to log it? If I cant, it's not big deal. The history behind such a small mark and the historical impact that came along with it more than makes up for it.

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That is really cool, I have never seen anything like it, nor do I know that this type of marker exists. Thanks for sharing with us.


Does anyone know if any of these types of markers exists anywhere else? especially in the Tri-State, NY/NJ/CT area.


Thanks again. Good work.

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A Supreme Court survey mark is definately original. It's doubtful that many more of them exist outside the NH/VT border area. Because it is a border monument - more specifically a property marker - you most likely will not be able to log it here as a find. It is not a benchmark. It is a very interesting find none the less.


A similar looking mark, LW1853, (flat with raised lettering) was found in Rhode Island and posted in this forum under the title 'Raised Letters On Bm?' about a month ago. It was a Rhode Island DOT benchmark.


- Kewaneh

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This is a great find. Congratulations on finding and documenting it for us to see.


Boundaries that are defined by rivers are notoriously difficult to keep track of because of constant changes in the rivers. Since ACE started to dredge river channels, people today are not as aware the it was not uncommon for rivers channels to change, sometimes by several miles. Also, disagreements arise because of the definition of high water, low water, middle of the channel, or some other term that everyone agrees upon at the time but many years later becomes open to interpretation. Sometimes the issue is not the exact location of the boundary but other issues such as water rights. Researching these issues can be very interesting. New Hampshire and Vermont have a long history of stand-offishness to each other and one would think that with a big river between them, there wouldn't be a chance for border disputes. But, obviously, this one lasted right into the 20th century.

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Many years back there was a serious auto crash on the US-41 interstate bridge between Menominee, Mich and Marinette, Wis. The courts ordered a special survey to determine jurisdiction in the case as no one had any idea where the state line was on the river at the bridge. There now exists as a result, two survey disks on each side of the bridge outer deck ledge marking the state line as it meanders. I don't recall the agency stamping on the disk and it is not in any database.


It was a federal agency not connected to either state but not GLO or BLM. Wisconsin was the state where it was determined to have occurred by a matter of feet.

Edited by elcamino
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Thanks for the great replys. I love the little snippets of history that people bring up that are so unique and sometimes personal. I have since found out about another survey marker (monument) along the low water line of the Connecticut River in the extreme Northeast boundary between VT and NH that I am going to visit and photograph when I get back from Mississippi next week. Thanks again and please dont hesitate to shed any more light on what I have found. Photos and some additional history will follow...

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The United States Supreme Court ordered boundary markers set at at least 28 locations where "such boundary line at low-water mark shall forthwith the definitely located and marked on the ground, as hereinafter provided, at named points on said boundary line, on the western side of the Connecticut river, which points have been selected and agreed upon by stipulation entered into by the parties hereto."


So there should be numerous other such markers along the Connecticut River.


The decision in the original case is online here.


A bit of legal background. The 1934 case of Vermont v. New Hampshire (290 US 579) is one of the relatively few types of cases in which the Supreme Court accepts original jurisdiction. The vast majority of cases in the high court are appeals which began with trials in lower courts. In limited instances - such as lawsuits between states - the case is originally brought at the Supreme Court.

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