New Inventory of the Mason and Dixon line stones underway 

The upcoming Nationals Surveyors Week, March 15-21, 2020 will be the official kick-off for the

inventory of the Mason and Dixon Line Stones along the Maryland and Pennsylvania boundary. A soft start date will be February 1, 2020 and instructions on how to get ready are being provided here. Please share this information with your fellow surveyors or anyone else that may be interested in participating in this historic project

 

 The Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) want to get these historic markers included in the National Registry to help in protecting and preserving these physical boundary markers that define the boundary between the two states. The Land Surveying community will be the “boots on the ground,” taking pictures and gathering current physical characteristics and locations of each stone. That data can collected/recorded with any smart device and transferred to MGS for the final processing.

 

The next three sections will go over (1) the free app that can be downloaded for use in a smartphone or tablet, (2) the sign-up sheet to indicate which stones you are willing to inspect and (3) an explanation of the abbreviations in the stone designations to assist you in knowing some of the details for each stone.

 

Register and Volunteer

 

Online sign-up sheet

 

This spreadsheet (link below) is where you can find information about and select which stones you want to inspect. Please remember to add your name and email by each stone you select.

 

       https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t2jk6r07u9jVJck2Bu61m-t3BUQ7h6-5BaJBsEGVXgw/edit#gid=500651331

 

 

Contact christopher.connallon@maryland.gov with and questions about the app or access to the sign-up

sheet. For any questions about the coordinates or other data on the sign-up sheet contact Pat Simon at

psimon@baltimorecountymd.gov

 

 

ESRI Survey 123 app

 

        Link to the tutorial video by Chris Connallon at MGS -

 

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncw_EixkiGM&feature=youtu.be

 

 

        (it should open in the Survey123 app), you may be prompted to allow the app to access location, take         photos, etc. Say yes to these. [note: this link will not open if Survey123 mobile field app is not installed]

 

 

 

Stone naming conventions in kmz and excel files

 

From Stone 0 (Northeast corner of Maryland) to Stone 132 (East side of Sideling Hill)

M-D Stone 13

Mason & Dixon Survey Stone number 13

M-D Stone 37 (Approx.)

Stone was found on line, but no survey-grade coordinates obtained. Position is Approximate

M-D Stone 50 (Replacement from MD)

Original crown stone 50 given to the Maryland Historical Society for a replacement stone set here.

M-D Stone 56 (Missing)

Stone is missing (not found) from the line and approximate position in kmz file. This stone could be in place ans may have been buried by the road construction in the 1930's.

M-D Stone 75 (2002)

This is a replacement stone set on the original base by the Mason and Dixon Line Preservation Partnership in 2002

M-D Stone 127 (NGS)

Coordinates from the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) disk in the stone

After Stone 132 (last stone set by Mason and Dixon) the 1900-1903 Resurvey numbers are included

M-D Stone 133a Resurvey (138)MP

The "a" indicates the 1st stone (“b” would be 2nd, “c” would be 3rd etc.) set during the resurvey after the

Mason & Dixon mile 133

The 1900-1903 Resurvey designated this stone as number 138

Original Mile Post (MP) from “Fort Frederick,” (SW of Hagerstown, MD & Chambersburg, PA) was set

M-D Stone 136a Resurvey(142)CS

Original Crown Stone (CS) from “Fort Frederick,” (SW of Hagerstown, MD & Chambersburg, PA) was set

M-D Stone 140a Resurvey(149) Approx.

The lack of “MP” or “CS” indicates a 10” by 10” 1902 Resurvey standard type stone was used

M-D Stone 146aC Resurvey(155) Approx.

A capital “C” indicates this stone is in an original “cairn” set by Mason & Dixon

M-D Stone 154bC Resurvey(165)(MDOT)

Coordinates provided by the Maryland Department Of Transportation (MDOT)

M-D Stone 158a Resurvey(169) (Replacement from PA)

Original crown stone 115 given to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania for a replacement stone set here

M-D Stone 165b Resurvey(178) Bauer Stone

Stone set in the Mason & Dixon during the 1898 Survey of the Boundary Line between Allegany and

Garrett counties. The survey was performed by L.A. Bauer with a final report prepared in 1903.

M-D Stone 181c Resurvey(201) Removed

This stone was removed from the line prior to the 1980 inventory. At that time, Alice Martin

documented it was in the front yard of Mark Folk in Springs, PA

M-D Stone 195bC Resurvey(222)(Sinclair 55.2) Approx.

Stone set in the Mason & Dixon line during the 1885 Survey of the Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Boundary. The survey was performed by C.H. Sinclair with this stone set in an original Mason & Dixon

cairn located 55.2 miles east of the southwest corner of PA.

M-D Stone 196a Resurvey(1951 no223 1910 no34) Approx.

Stone set in the Mason & Dixon line at the northwest corner of Maryland during the 1910 Survey of the

Maryland and West Virginia Boundary. The survey was performed per the decision of the Supreme Court

case. The stone is numbered 34 in the 1910 survey. The stone was not in place during the 1900-1903

Resurvey or 1885 Sinclair survey, but was included as stone 223 in the 1951 inventory by Dr. Trussell.

M-D Stone 196b Resurvey(223-224?)(Michler Monument?) Approx.

Possibly one of the Sinclair stones set in the original Mason & Dixon line. This may be a replacement for

the tall, slim, white granite or sandstone, Michler Monument set in 1860. The USGS quad map has both

223 and 224 at this site, while the 1900-1903 Resurvey places stone 224 at 1,300 feet west of here. The

only inscription, on west side of stone, is not readable.

M-D Stone 196cC Resurvey(224)(Sinclair 54.2) Approx.

Stone set in the Mason & Dixon line during the 1885 Survey of the Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Boundary. This stone is set in an original Mason & Dixon cairn, 54.2 miles east of the southwest corner

of PA. The 1900-1903 Resurvey lists as stone 224, but it is not shown, at this location, on the USGS quad.

M-D Stone 198 Resurvey(225)(Sinclair 53.1) Approx.

Stone set in the Mason & Dixon line during the 1885 Survey of the Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Boundary. This is the last stone included in the 1900-1903 Resurvey and located 53.1miles east of the

southwest corner of PA.

M-D Stone 199a (Sinclair 51.6) Approx.

Stone set in the Mason & Dixon line during the 1885 Survey of the Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Boundary. This stone is located 51.6 miles east of the southwest corner of PA. This was part of the

MDLPP inventory and just over a mile from the previous stone.

Preserving History

 

The Mason and Dixon Line Preservation Partnership (MDLPP) was established in November 1990 to inventory the stones that mark the Mason and Dixon line and determine ways to preserve the stones from further loss and deterioration.  Ultimately, our goal is to replace destroyed or damaged stones that are beyond repair. 

The Partnership has also undertaken the major task of locating the stones using the Global Positioning System (GPS).  This method of surveying uses a constellation of satellites, which orbit the Earth.  Through this procedure, we will be able to obtain the Latitude and longitude of the stones to sub-centimeter precision.

Though often associated with the issue of slavery and the division of  “north” and “south”, the history of the Mason and Dixon Line predates the Civil War by over 200 years.  The “Mason and Dixon” is named after Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, both English astronomers, surveyors and mathematicians hired by the Penn and Calvert families to establish the long disputed boundary.

Promoting History

 

An important objective of the MDLPP is to promote a true and factual history of the Mason and Dixon Line. The Mason and Dixon Line has come to be known as the line which divided the free states from the slave states or north from south. The true history of the line has been muddled through years of folklore and hearsay. There are many who have been led to believe that the stones that mark the line are accurate to within 1/2 inch of the intended location. Others believe that to be from “way down south in Dixie” stems from the fact that they live south of the Mason and “Dixon” Line. (Conversely, I suppose it could be said that a Vermonter is from “way up north in Masey”). Our objective is to dispel such folklore and promote a factual history of the line.

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© 2020 Mason and Dixon Line Preservation Partnership & Todd M. Babcock

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