Piviot Point/Initial Point - Paoli IN -1805
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dnrseekers
N 38° 28.170 W 086° 27.349
16S E 547472 N 4258049
Quick Description: The mother of all Indiana marks! Initial Point is still used in legal descriptions today,just as it was intended in 1805. From this point west, most of the United States is laid out with the surveying system first established at this point.
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 9/2/2014 12:19:15 PM
Waymark Code: WMMCZJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 3

Long Description:
This mark is the mark by which all Indiana township and range sections are derived from. It is the first and original survey mark for the state of Indiana.

The original wooden post was placed here in September 1, 1805 by Ebenezer Buckingham Jr., U.S. Deputy Surveyor. The corner stone which now marks Initial Point replaced the wooden post in 1866. The stone was inscribed with an “S 31” for Section 31 and placed by J.H. Lindley, Orange County Surveyor.

Three members of the crew who initaly established Initial point died in this area. A panther killed Thomas Shay and severely mauled George Tate in Pike County. David Sanford, a young graduate just out of Yale, died of malaria, and Ziba Foote drowned in a swamp. However in Buckingham’s survey notes from September 1, 1805, there is nothing special to indicate establishing Initial Point was a milestone for his crew. He merely described the soil and timber. Once he set Initial Point, Buckingham turned north and continued along the 2nd Principal Meridian to the Indiana Treaty Line. At 77 chains north of Initial Point, he noted that he had crossed the Buffalo Trace.

In recognition of the importance of this point, a group of people from the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors, Indiana County Surveyors Association, and citizens of Paoli decided to protect the site. They purchased 18 acres around the point and in 1968, made a cooperative agreement with the Forest Service to maintain the site. Title of the land was later conveyed to the Forest Service.

It should be noted that although the BLM records this point at N38 28' 14" (http://www.blm.gov/cadastral/Manual/73man/id131.htm) it is at the coordinates noted as referenced by the USDA forest service (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hoosier/recreation/outdoorlearning/recarea/?recid=41560&actid=119).
Type of survey mark: Stone in ground marked S31

What indicators are near the mark to help people identify where it is located?:
Surrounded by fence and has a sign by the stone


What property is this mark defining?:
initial point of Indiana and points west


Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
dnrseekers visited Piviot Point/Initial Point - Paoli IN -1805 10/15/2013 dnrseekers visited it