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2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

A Valley View Accessory

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We need input from everyone on what is in this picture of the triangular station 'Valley View' GQ0274 . Is the wooden item in the picture a 'height of light' tower? Or just some debris?

 

fd22fee0-05d9-4af8-a2dd-8b28ed2196d5.jpg

 

I really was impressed by the view, but I was really excited to think we might have found something "Extra". But, there was no mention of any 'height of light' on either the Geocaching or the NGS state pages.

 

What are your thoughts on this one? :mad:

 

Thank you.

 

Shirley~

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What that wooden object is, and was used for, is a wooden tripod for either making observations with a theodolite, or holding up the heliotrope "light" when observations were being made. There is always an instrument height, "height of the light" for all observations, Night or Day on both ends of an observation whether they mention in the description that there was or not. We even use that term loosely in the field today, whether we are using an actual light or most usually just a reflector. The distance from the center of the optical instrument or light, to the top of the Station Disc is the Height being referred to. You did find something special that was used at that location by the surveyors and abandoned when they were done using it.

 

See Here,

 

Also see Here.

 

Rob

Edited by evenfall

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Rob,

 

Thank you so much for the links to the pictures & the very quick response to my question.

 

It is so COOL to have found this bit of history! We have noticed a lot of wires at triangulation stations & always at the rock cairns & assumed they were used for measuring the triangle, but that was the first time we ever saw a wooden structure like that.

 

Will,

 

The structure in your picture is still in great shape. It looks like they might have used better wood. I do believe that if I knew that I would be just leaving the stand there, I might have used any scrape piece that I could find, as it appears was the case with the one that we found.

 

Also, not far away, while looking for another mark, we discovered this...

 

cc3653e3-145b-4639-9e89-69c7ea75f8c4.jpg

 

Finding these unique surprises is one reason we love hunting benchmarks of all kinds. :mad:

 

Shirley~

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JEESH !!!

It's spiders like that that remind me why I live in the New England mountains. I only have to worry about Black Bears and Coyotes, and I can see them coming long before they are gonna climb on me.

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Well, It is true that some wood is better than others but here in the Northwest, the ever wet weather would have reduced the wood to a pile of rot years ago. As an artifact, it is cool to see those old tripods still in some semblance of condition but sad to think they left it there as garbage.

 

I would just have to speculate about all the wires you find at some sites, but the batteries that powered the lights used for night survey work were often on the ground and wires ran up to the light unit. Perhaps the wires you find were used for that.

 

In retrospect, I would have not thought you would find a tripod, let alone wires... It would be nice to think they had cleaned up the mess they made, but that was another time, a different era.

 

Rob

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The old USC&GS used a lot of what they callled a "four foot stand" in areas where a taller tower was not needed. On rain days when they otherwise could not work they could build these in their camp. They obviously last a long time out in the desert. As previously mentioned they could hold survey instruments or target lights.

 

Here is a photo of one that is not so weathered from the NGS web page...

http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/historic/c&gs/theb1606.htm

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I think the wires were guy wires for signals. I have found them at several tri-stations usualy wraped around rocks and atatched to some piece of wood. I'll see if I can find a photo.

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This is probably just silly, but if there are any here who would like to own something that the CGS used on those tripods back in the day, then head to ebay and have a look at this.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...3843048674&rd=1

 

The Wild T-3 Theodolite. These were used very extensively in geodetic surveying work for a good many years.

 

That theodolite, if once owned by the NGS, is likely no stranger to a wooden stand... It is certainly a sister to many who were.

 

Rob

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Here it the guy that built it...

 

theb2518.jpg

 

Small wooden stand on ridge in Mojave Desert. Station built during observations on Transcontinental Traverse work. Triangulation party of Woodrow Johnson

 

See more at NGS HISTORY

Edited by elcamino

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We need input from everyone on what is in this picture of the triangular station 'Valley View' GQ0274 . Is the wooden item in the picture a 'height of light' tower? Or just some debris?

 

fd22fee0-05d9-4af8-a2dd-8b28ed2196d5.jpg

theb2518.jpg

I really was impressed by the view, but I was really excited to think we might have found something "Extra". But, there was no mention of any 'height of light' on either the Geocaching or the NGS state pages.

 

What are your thoughts on this one? ;)

 

Thank you.

 

Shirley~

Almost the Same mountians.

But the History of the Work is there.

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I confirm that the 'wood' is as identified by another post, a typical 4-foot stand. These are found on a large percentage of old stations that are on mountain tops, or otherwise required no higher tower to have line of sight. The stand would be used both for lights and the observing theodolite in turn. As these stations were then used up until GPS became readily available around 1990 for surveyors to tie into control and so they (as I did on many occasions) would erect target poles for daylight work, often a 2x2 guyed by 3 wires. After dozens of years the lumber builds up at some stations.

 

- jerry wahl

 

PS note the walkway around the stand, this is to minimize the observer disturbing the stand during observations.

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I somehow missed this thread when it first came out, so my thanks to Jerry for bumping it back to the top.

 

Great photos, 2OF, and thanks to the others who posted historical pictures associated with this stand.

 

I've never seen one of the stands before, but have seen several of the wooden triangles, most recently at MN0428

 

231d80c6-5b6b-42fc-98f2-0d4540c7f2a6.jpg

 

I didn't know what it was there for, but thought that it might have been a guide for finding triangulation stations on aerial photographs. Thinking about it now, it seems obvious that something of this size would be too small to be clearly seen on an aerial photo <_<

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It could be seen. Something else would have been fixed to the wooden frame. Back in the 70's, NOS did Lake Survey Work around here and I found a wooden frame like this on the end of a breakwater on Lake Superior, it was weighted down with concrete blocks over a survey marker. We were fishing on the pier when I found it. The wooden frame was about this size and had white cloth with a black triangle in the center of it stretched over it, was only about 3-4 ft on sides. I recall noticing how much smaller it was than was we used. Found out later the were mapping aides to navigation on Lake Superior as well as setting shore control for an NOS Survey ship. The ship docker here for a day and offered public tours. I did not get to go as we were working out of town that week.

 

 

aerialtarget.jpg

Edited by elcamino

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