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Monumented 1948; Dated 1899?


PFF
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The threads on old benchmarks got me wondering about older marks in my state of North Carolina. The earliest dates I encounter within 75 miles of home are 1918. They are scattered around the State Capital in Raleigh, and along railway routes.

 

Then there is a "silent period" until 1934-1935, when a lot of marks were set. This period was followed by silence until 1948. After a peak in '48, things are quiet until about 1952, after which marks appear at random.

 

But here's a curiosity: In the small town of Mocksville, I noticed data sheets for several marks which say "monumented 1948", but the description refers to 1899. I believe this number is a date and not a PID, since there are several of them.

 

I'm reproducing one of the data sheets below. Is it possible that the term MONUMENTED in this case is the equivalent of FIRST DESCRIBED? The text hints at this. All input from the group is appreciated!

 

-Paul-

 

FA2608 HISTORY - Date Condition Report By

FA2608 HISTORY - 1948 MONUMENTED NCGS

FA2608 HISTORY - 1983 GOOD NCGS

FA2608

FA2608 STATION DESCRIPTION

FA2608

FA2608'DESCRIBED BY NORTH CAROLINA GEODETIC SURVEY 1948 (RCB)

FA2608'THIS IS A TRAVERSE STATION.

FA2608'

FA2608'STATION IS LOCATED IN THE CITY OF MOCKSVILLE IN THE PAVEMENT

FA2608'OF A CIRCULAR ROAD AROUND THE CITY SQUARE. IT IS 78 FEET WEST

FA2608'OF CENTER OF U.S. HIGHWAY 158, 37 FEET NORTH OF NORTH SIDE OF

FA2608'BANK OF DAVIE AND 26 FEET NORTH OF A CURB. THE MARK IS A

FA2608'6 X 6 INCH GRANITE POST SET IN THE PAVEMENT OF A CIRCULAR

FA2608'ROAD AROUND THE CITY SQUARE. THE MARK IS FLUSH WITH THE

FA2608'PAVEMENT WITH A CROSS INSCRIBED IN THE TOP WITH THE

FA2608'LEGEND---NCGS USCS 1899---.

FA2608'

FA2608'A TRAVERSE CONNECTION WAS MADE FROM TRIANGULATION STATION

FA2608'MOCKSVILLE. THE DISTANCE WAS 130.90 FEET, 39.898 METERS.

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Its probable this mark (and others) while maybe originally surveyed in 1899, its position may not have been as accurate as the 1948 survey. Monumented does not always refer to the placing of the mark but can refer to the positioning of the mark.

 

Many of the methods employed back then were later found to not be as accurate as they were once thought to be. They may be up several meters off by todays standards. Its also possible that no records remained from the 1899 work.

 

I have found marks in my area that are like this.

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My first guess is that the cap you see was a rehabilitation of the older station which may have been damaged, vandalized, or otherwise damaged, or else a cap was set in an older mark which were often of the form of just small rods or drill holes.

 

Usually the data sheet will say this.

 

So now I check and you see the sheet first describes what they found in 1948

 

"DESCRIBED BY NORTH CAROLINA GEODETIC SURVEY 1948 (RCB) THIS IS A TRAVERSE STATION. STATION IS LOCATED IN THE CITY OF MOCKSVILLE IN THE PAVEMENT OF A CIRCULAR ROAD AROUND THE CITY SQUARE. IT IS 78 FEET WEST OF CENTER OF U.S. HIGHWAY 158, 37 FEET NORTH OF NORTH SIDE OF BANK OF DAVIE AND 26 FEET NORTH OF A CURB. THE MARK IS A 6 X 6 INCH GRANITE POST SET IN THE PAVEMENT OF A CIRCULAR ROAD AROUND THE CITY SQUARE. THE MARK IS FLUSH WITH THE PAVEMENT WITH A CROSS INSCRIBED IN THE TOP WITH THE LEGEND NCGS USCS 1899. A TRAVERSE CONNECTION WAS MADE FROM TRIANGULATION STATION MOCKSVILLE. THE DISTANCE WAS 130.90 FEET, 39.898 METERS."

 

The sheet shown here does not seem to indicate that it was reset except for a later notation that it is a C&GS mark.

 

- jlw

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Paul, Mike and Jerry,

 

Pulling the Datasheet for FA2610 tells a lot more of the tale...

 

It looks like in '48, CGS set station Mocksville, FA2610 and not only tied in FA2608 as a reference mark, it was also tied in on a traverse.

 

It looks like FA 2608 was a station set in 1899 by NCGS. It was in a cluster of other stations set by NCGS at the same time. In 1948 CGS set FA2610 and used 2608 as both an RM and tied it in as a Traverse at the time. There was other stations found in place including a Transit Traverse station set by the USGS also.

 

FA2608 seems to be Second order horizontal control now, but it is not likely it achieved Second order until it was made into a NCGS HARN station. A traverse would not usually qualify for second order control.

 

More of what was done becomes clearer, sort-of, by reading the other datasheet.

 

Hope it makes more sense now, or this way... The HARN stations in the Carolinas seem a bit interesting as it is... In an odd way. It seems the control is proprietary and unable to fit other control... Weird.

 

Thanks for the weirdness Paul! :-D

 

Rob

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Paul, et. al.,

 

Regarding the term of art "monumented", I assume that it means "the date that the position was established with sufficient accuracy and the documentation completed in the manner required so as to qualify the mark for inclusion in the National Spatial Reference System".

 

See HU1686 for an example of a stone set in 1751-1754 but not "monumented" until 1974. Also, the boundary stones set by Mason and Dixon along the Tangent Line (western boundary of Delaware) in 1764-1765 all were "monumented" during the period 1962 - 1983. Near (within 150 feet) of each of the MASDIX stone is a modern triangulation station with reference marks. It is my understanding that these T-stations are the true, legal boundary line between MD and DE. The T-stations were established and monumented during the same period that the original stones were "monumented" so, I assume, the position of the old stones was established to modern standards of accuracy during the course of the mid-20th Century re-survey and marking of the boundary line.

 

Will

Edited by seventhings
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Interestingly,

 

JU3851

and,

JU3849

 

have monumented dates = 1765, which is in clear contradiction to my definition of the word, above.

 

The two Mason-Dixon stones mark a portion of the (pre-existing) Arc Line - a small bulge formed by the New Castle 12-mile Arc Line because their (Mason and Dixon's) Tangent Line, running a few degrees west of due north from the SW corner of DE at HU1800, and their North Line, running due south from a point near the modern MD-DE-PA corner at JU3841, did not quite meet at a point tangent to the original 12-mile arc. I estimate that Chuck and Jerry "missed" their target point by 0.1 miles after a straight-line run of about 82 miles from the starting point at HU1800. Such was the state of surveying accuracy in colonial times.

 

The two stones cited, above, are not the standard 12x12 Portland Stone (oolitic limestone) shafts used along most of the length of the DE-MD and MD-PA boundaries, but rounded 12x8 pieces of (what I believe to be) amphibolite gneiss, similar to the 1751 stone at HU1686.

 

I've probably over-simplified the history of the MASDIX Arc stones, but such is the sorry state of my technical knowledge of surveying.

 

Will

Edited by seventhings
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But here's a curiosity:  In the small town of Mocksville, I noticed data sheets for several marks which say "monumented 1948", but the description refers to 1899. I believe this number is a date and not a PID, since there are several of them.

 

I'm particularly interested in those two in Mocksville identified as chiseled crosses. That alone suggests they could be very old. Please let me know after you have logged those. I live nearby and would like to see them as well. Since you posted the research, it's only fair that I wait until you are FTF.

 

Your point about "monumented" versus when a mark is first 'originated', opens up a whole question about the full history being missing from some of the data sheets. For instance the date of 1899 is only mentioned in one of these two. So how many others possibly originated much earlier than any of the dates found in the data sheets?

 

I haven't spent the time to figure out how to search by "Type" but I did a search by "Designation" and even that turned up a couple more chisled crosses in NC. EZ1357 is on a wooden bridge in Saxapahaw, NC. I may go there next week. It's already been logged with pictures. Another is EY0001. That one is in Fairfield, NC, not logged but too far away for me.

 

Neweyess

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Please let me know after you have logged those. I live nearby and would like to see them as well. Since you posted the research, it's only fair that I wait until you are FTF.

 

 

You are very kind to make that offer!

 

Want to meet me in Mocksville for a team search? I'm available weekdays more than weekends, since I'm in the real estate profession. We each could check out benchmarks along our routes as we converge on the Main Event. ;)

 

-Paul-

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http://img.Groundspeak.com/benchmark/lg/26515_400.jpg is one of the photos of JF1012 http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=JF1012 the marker is dated 1895 and listed as Salina Base East. There is an identical marker in the UPRR yards, buried under 18 to 24 inches of cinders from the steam engines. Salina Base West in the identical design and markings. These are the oldest I have found. There are some that are chiseled crosses in the area as well. My favorite is in the widow sill of an old Rock Island Railroad Depot, taken over by the Missouri Pacific, bench mark number JF1026 http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=JF1026 . The UPRR came through complete with a disc in the northern wall, it is a common brass or copper one though. Glen*
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Neweyess wrote:

I did a search by "Designation" and even that turned up a couple more chisled crosses in NC. EZ1357 is on a wooden bridge in Saxapahaw, NC. I may go there next week. It's already been logged with pictures. Another is EY0001. That one is in Fairfield, NC, not logged but too far away for me.

 

That bridge in Saxapaw looks interesting! When searching the surrounding area, be sure to check the latest recoveries on the NGS site. Some of the marks at country stores and gas stations have disappeared. (Not just the mark---the WHOLE store!)

 

I checked out the town's water tank, recently, and was surprised to find a rusty standpipe just down the hill to the west. I checked the data base and did not find it as a benchmark.

 

I'm pleased to see more activity from North Carolina benchmark hunters. Presently, we've got several around Charlotte, one near Lumberton, and another at the coast (Jacksonville). Some of the 2002-2003 group has faded away.

 

I wonder.....Does the hobby get old/boring after a year? Actually, I'm finding it to be very addictive! :huh:

 

-Paul-

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Hi, Gang:

 

I promised a report. Well, I got 'em all. There are five marks which make up this station. Four of them are on little "islands" of grass and a tree apiece, grouped around an intersection in the heart of town.

 

The station (FA2610)is in the SE quadrant's island. It was recessed about two inches, but I dug and recovered it.

 

SOUTH MERIDIAN (FA2608) is one of the marks dating from 1899. It is in what appears to be a pothole in the street, about 42 feet NW (bearing 330 magnetic) from a war memorial. Forget the reference to a bank. It now is the county office annex.

 

NORTH MERIDIAN (FA2607) is the other 1899 mark. I had to sweep water out of the "pothole" to see it. It's also in the street on the north end of the broken-up traffic circle.

 

RM1 is in the NE quadrant, in the sidewalk. It has no markings on it.

 

For TT 51 HF (FA2611, go back to the NW quadrant's island, in the grass, on the east side of the tree and not far from the sidewalk. It is a disk, flush with the ground.

 

There also is an AZIMUTH MARK about half a mile to the east.

 

I picked up some other marks around town, including BOONE, and I found Squire Boone's grave! As I came to town, out on US-64, I worked an entire station near a Baptist Church. What a great day! It was foggy until 11:15 AM, but then it cleared up.

 

I've got an evening appointment, so I don't know when I will get the pictures on geocaching.com.

 

Regards,

Paul

 

FOR GARY: I e-mailed a more detailed description of the marks, knowing you will be in the area on Tuesday.

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Nice investigative work Paul. I enjoy working stations like this.

 

I am thinking about the condition of the one in the sidewalk without markings... Without running it all down myself, was it a brass disc or of some other type? Do you suppose foot traffic has worn off the stamping or was there never any stamping? No matter really, just curious. I see different kinds of wear on these myself, and I often wonder what it has been subjected to down through the years. When you think about it, it is amazing how well many of these hold up based on all the different places they are placed.

 

The condition of the pavement you mentioned in the traffic circle has me thinking. I am saying this specifically to you because I realize that you do enjoy reporting your work to NGS. For others who may be interested in these thoughts that is fine too. Anyhow, it is likely there may be patching and or paving operations to be performed in and around this traffic circle soon. Sometimes, if you like, it is worth contacting the state geodetic advisor and let them know you recently worked these stations. Let them know about the condition of the road and the potholes you found the stations. Check the Datasheets as you refer to them and Identify the station as HARN and/or what the quality of the survey on the station is. Mention that you are concerned that paving operations in this area appear as though they could happen soon and if there is any particular agency that they would recommend that you contact to alert them to the presence of the stations in the roadway.

 

Now you could just contact whomever you feel is responsible for maintaining the street, provided you can learn who the correct individual(s) is, yet many times you are just some person calling and you never get past the call screeners as you have no name to ask for. It winds up like the plot to kill Batman... But the Geodetic Advisor knows who they are, and getting to know the advisor is cool, as you may work with them again. Establishing rapport with them is something that will help build a future relationship, and they can help direct you to the right people, give you names and phone numbers etc... You can develop a few good relationships in the process and may work with them again. Then when you call the municipality you can ask for the right person and mention that the State Geodetic Advisor, "John or Jane Doe asked that I pay you a friendly call and let you know what I found..." Yada Yada. It helps open the right doors, establishes rapport and credibility, and calls attention to stations which may be obscure, otherwise overlooked, and perhaps in harms way.

 

Just a thought. I have found that many municipal managers and others in the Road and Street Business are happy to hear what you found, as protecting any existing survey is something they are interested in having happen.

 

For those who just hunt Benchmarks for fun, these are just variations on the theme, but I am not suggesting that anyone should do this, unless they would like to.

 

Again, Nice Hunt!

 

Rob

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I am thinking about the condition of the one in the sidewalk without markings... Without running it all down myself, was it a brass disc or of some other type? Do you suppose foot traffic has worn off the stamping or was there never any stamping?

 

Hi, Rob:

 

I gave this a lot of thought while at the site. It could go either way. I lean toward the "blank when it was set" theory because with the disk being convex, there would have been SOME evidence of lettering around the edges.

 

Good point about the paving. I suspect the town has a good idea of the historical significance of these marks. I got the impression that they pave up to the marks, but not over them. Nevertheless, I like your idea of reporting this locally, as well as to NGS. I'll follow up on that.

 

I may have to retire from the hobby. It will be difficult to match the "high" I felt today! But then, the "itch" will come back in a few days, I'm sure. (grin)

 

-Paul-

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Just a thought. I have found that many municipal managers and others in the Road and Street Business are happy to hear what you found, as protecting any existing survey is something they are interested in having happen.

 

 

Rob:

 

It turns out that one of my agents is the neice of a Commissioner in the county where the marks are located. She is forwarding this information to him to help ensure continued protection during future road paving projects.

 

Hopefully, these stones will be visible and undisturbed for another 100 years!

 

-Paul-

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Sounds good Paul, But hopefully you will establish Rapport with them for yourself someday as well. You never know when you may have a question or an answer and you already have the right person in the rolodex. I know it is like cold calling but it isn't that bad.

 

In addition, you never know when they may call on you, or ask your trusted opinion about a local knowledge situation. It is nice to be considered a local expert. Good contacts are always good to have! Paying them a courtesy call can open a lot of doors. Get to know as many as you can!

 

Rob

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I stopped by Mocksville today. Thanks to all of Pauls previous work and pictures, I was able to find about 6 marks in about 45 minutes. I found FA2607, FA2608, FA2610, FA2611 but didn't upload any pictures for those, as it would have been mere duplication. For FA2624 , Boone, I added a close-up of the disk. For FA0609, I noticed a concrete post close to the mark at the old train depot and uploaded a couple of pictures of it. It's marked "1949". I'm not sure what it is, but I added it anyway.

 

I especially enjoyed seeing the 1899 marks in the square. While I was there, a man came out and questioned me in a friendly way. He wanted to know what I was doing. I explained that I was photographing some benchmarks. He asked, "Why?". I showed him the 1899 mark and explained they were important historical monuments. He then asked, "And who are you?" I told him I was a hobbyist. He replied, "Well I like cars so I guess to each his own." Then he quipped, "There was another guy here taking pictures of the courthouse but he didn't look like a terriost either". I wondered if that was Paul?

 

This is the sort of thing that makes me nervous about finding benchmarks in an urban area. But, thanks Paul for bringing me to Mocksville!

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Neweyess,

 

Though you may only be doing this as a recreational hobby and for fun, and maybe you have no plans to report what you find to the NGS, I would recommend when hunting in an urban area, and in these times to take the PID of the mark(s) you are hunting, and go to the NGS website and print out the latest copy of the NGS Datasheet to take with you, feel free to staple the multiple sheet ones. Carry it with you. When you are asked just tell them you are a volunteer who recovers Survey markers for the national Geodetic Survey. It is a plausible story, and not a lie. You have the very data to corroborate your reason for being where you are and doing what you are doing in your hand or clipboard. That is an official datasheet no matter what computer prints it out. And most of all, the NGS recovery efforts for these stations is largely done be volunteers.

 

In any case it is official enough to be legitimate, because it is legitimate and most basically is true. You are recovering a survey marker using NGS data, But stick to the real datasheets just to be on the safe side. Most people don't really care if you are searching for a survey marker. If they grill you, you have a completely legitimate answer.

 

Besides, what is to say the person grilling you has any more business in the man in the moon to interrogate you? You could have said, That fella with the camera didn't look like a terrorist eh? That's funny, I was thinking the same thing about you! :-D

 

Rob

Edited by evenfall
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I do most of my benchmark hunting in the Washington, DC, area. I've been questioned by a cop near the CIA (though not by the one observing me outside FBI headquarters). I've also had numerous questions from ordinary folks (mostly less interested in what I'm doing than in whether my activity signals some building project in the neighborhood).

 

I always have an NGS printout, and I'll annotate that with info from geocaching.com logs and possibly a map. The official printout on a clipboard looks very, well, official. The geocaching printout doesn't.

 

Only suggestion I would make is to not rely on the word "recover." It's a term of art that doesn't mean anything to the lay person. I find the phrase "updating the official database" seems to work better.

 

-ArtMan-

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Then he quipped, "There was another guy here taking pictures of the courthouse but he didn't look like a terriost either". I wondered if that was Paul?

 

LOL! Yep, that was me. I don't know what he thought a terrorist would look like, but glad I didn't fit the description.

 

This reminds me of those folks who are interviewed after a terrible crime has been committed by a neighbor. They always say, "He was such a NICE young man.....always helped carry my groceries...."

 

I guess the lesson is, watch out for the nice ones!

 

-Paul-

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