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Interesting Marking Device

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I found this marking device while searching for EZ-2749. I did not investigate what is beneath this marker because I did not wish to be seen standing next to a grave with a shovel in my hand.


To be fair, I did not log this as a "find". However, I posted a note. By golly, I want SOME kind of credit for spending 45 minutes in a cemetery! :unsure:




Did someone speak?

Naw, I'm all by myself.

Must have been the wind in the trees.

I think I'll move on to a benchmark in a shopping center.

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While it's possible that this is a survey related object, I would doubt it. Surveyors routinely use nails and shiners as temporary points, but the shiners used are usually round, like the top of a soup can. Also, a point used to identify a location to something as important as a benchmark would probably be something a bit less likely to be caught up and removed by a grounds keeper's lawn mower. My guess is that it's a temporary point used by the grounds keeper to identify a certain plot, like a new purchase, or one that is about to have a new tenant. People like to see their property corners and gravediggers need to know the right place to drop their shovel.


One other survey related possibility is that it was used to hold down a fabric photogrammetric aerial control target - a target showing the photogrammetrist the benchmark location or other survey point. I usually use 60d nails and large shiners when I set them in grassy or dirt areas, (roadways get painted targets) and sometimes the nails get left behind.


You could ask with the cemetary caretaker or grounds keeper if they know of any recent surveying, or even if they know of the location of the benchmark. Chances are that if they know it's there, they're probably trying to protect it, at which point, it could be ground keeper's mark to show the location of the benchmark.


Good luck with your hunt!

- Kewaneh

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Kewaneh: Good points about the temporary marker. There is another station in this cemetery--one that is above ground. I checked the NGS database and noticed that the one which is above-ground was recovered by the City of Durham a few months ago. The same individual found another one at a nearby school but did not file a report on the underground mark.


Guess I'm not the only one who doesn't like digging in a graveyard! But I know whom I can enlist, if I can get him out of the Boston Area and down to North Carolina. WALDO enjoys visiting a cemetery occasionally. His "Mom, Mom!" routine will be a big hit here in the South! :grin:



Confidential to WR: If you'll do the digging, I'll drive the get-away vehicle!

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like cemeteries, I really do! I wish we had more benchmarks in the cemeteries around here-cos I already know where the cemeteries are(all 600+ in my county!).


Ah, ha! I forgot the obvious recruit for this cemetery party! You're invited, Graveyard Mom. There's safety in numbers! :blink:



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Zygote is right, as a Surveyor, we cannot second guess. Generally the USGS will set a station with the markings on it which are a dead give away. That will do a good portion of the figuring for us. This is a pipe cap with a hand stamping. Hard telling what it says because it seems to have a letter which to me, based on the photo, is difficult to be sure of. No agency with what I can read comes to mind, but maybe it is not clicking in my mind...


Interestingly, I have seen the USGS have a location on their maps for which they have positioning and leveling but they monumented no station. I have heard lore about how on maps a certain method is used by the USGS to portray such a station but I have busted that myth too. As for the pipe cap, well in my area, USE, and USACE were common users of pipe caps for survey markers, but I have never come across the USGS use of one. There is a first for everything and anything, and it certainly is not uncommon to adopt someone else's monumentation for use by another if it seems permanent enough for the purpose.


I would contact the USGS and see if they have any data for this station coordinates and elevation and see if the data contains a monument type. If it is a pipe cap then you have found your station. Without knowing the station type, and more data about this station as Zygote said, you are kind of made to wonder. What would be most important to us at this point would be to know what type of station marker was used at this location. In the surveyor's world, we need a higher level of certainty than that, but you may be happy with what you found.


Merry Christmas Mike,



Edited by evenfall
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Thanks guys. I should have mentioned that this is a NO-PID. I was in the area on my way to:



The one just up the road to the East is:



If you pull up a list of the area benchmarks you'll see that several types were used over the years. Because of the variety of types I've found I just wondered if I'd lucked my way into a NO-PID find. There wasn't anything else recognizable in the immediate vicinity. The mark I was seeking is atop the levee judging by the elevation marked on the quad compared to all the nearby marks which are at ground level. I can see speding some $$ on the control datasheets for this quad as the NO-PIDS are fun to hunt as well.


Merry Christmas and Happy Hunting all!!

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I have found a similar marking device searching for a cemetery mark in Barre, Vermont. It was early in my searching endeavor, so after I found it, I chalked it up as a no find. It was obvious it covered up the mark which is located at least 6" deep underground. I have been wanting to get back there (it is only a mile from my home), but now the ground is frozen and covered in that white stuff that happens every year about this time.

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