Beginning Point of the U.S. Public Land Survey - East Liverpool, OH/Beaver Co., PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Ernmark
N 40° 38.550 W 080° 31.140
17T E 540670 N 4499183
Quick Description: Monument placed at the Ohio/Pennsylvania border commemorating the spot 1112 feet South which served as the starting point of the 'western lands' eventually stretching to the West Coast.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 8/12/2014 10:20:42 PM
Waymark Code: WMM8YH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member stvanme
Views: 2

Long Description:
The stone obelisk at this location was set in 1881 and was listed on the Register of Historic Places in 1966. It commemorates an important spot in the history of U.S. surveying which was actually 1,112 feet to the south (N 40° 38.367, W 80° 31.140) and unfortunately lost. At one point the spot was under water, but appears to currently be in a paved area on commercial property.

The significance of the 'Point of Beginning' to surveying is that from this point, a system of rectangular grids was established to divide public lands into six-square-mile 'townships' as per the Ordinance of 1785. This led to the surveying of the Old Northwest Territory and eventually to the new territories of the Western United States.

The monument itself contains inscriptions in the stone face on the East (PA) & West (OH) sides, and a bronze National Historic Landmark plaque on the North side (the plaque was replaced in 2003).

Text on Pennsylvania side:

Erected in 1881 by a joint commission appointed by the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio to re-survey and re-mark the boundary line as established in 1786.

Text on Ohio side:

1112 feet south of this spot was the "point of beginning" for surveying the public lands of the United States. There, on September 30, 1785, Thomas Hutchins, first Geographer of the United States, began the Geographer's Line of the Seven Ranges. This inscription was dedicated September 30, 1960, in joint action of the East Liverpool Historical Society and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.

The Point of Beginning monument sits directly on the OH/PA border on the South side of OH Route 39 / PA Route 68

A marker placed by the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation a few yards in side Pennsylvania contains the following text regarding this spot:

No survey of the Western Lands of the United States could be made as required under the Land Ordinance of 1785 until the surveyors for Pennsylvania and Virginia set a marker on the North shore of the Ohio River. On August 20, 1785, that marker was set and concluded the North-South line between the two states. The original marker, long since lost, was located 1,112 feet South of this plaque and was also known as the "Point of Beginning" for the survey of the Western Lands, which began on September 30, 1785.

There are also 2 Historical Markers located just inside Ohio which provide additional information on the Land Ordinance of 1785, the Seven Ranges, and on Thomas Hutchins - the first Geographer of the United States. Click on the link below & see the nearby waymarks for more information on this site and its importance to the history of surveying in the United States.

Note - thanks to waymarker thebeav69 for reminding me of this historical spot & twisting my arm to get out here to photograph this stone.
Monumentation Type: Dressed stone

Monument Category: Initial Point

Accessible to general public: yes

Historical significance:
Single point where the U.S.Public Land Survey System traces its origins to.

Monument Website: [Web Link]

County: Columbiana County (OH) - Beaver County (PA)

USGS Quad: East Liverpool North - OH/PA

Approximate date of monument: 1/1/1881

Monumentation Type (if other): Not listed

Monument Category (if other): Not listed

Explain Non-Public access: Not listed

NGS PID: Not listed

Other Coordinates: Not Listed

Other Coordinates details: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
1. A closeup photo of the monument is required.
2. A 'distant' photo including the monument in the view is highly recommended. Include the compass direction you faced when you took the picture.
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