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USCGS West Line Stone 216, 1902, Pennsylvania-Maryland
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member seventhings
N 39° 43.282 W 079° 24.144
17S E 636926 N 4398052
Quick Description: USCGS West Line Stone 216, 1902, PA-MD, is a dressed white marble shaft set by the 1900 – 1903 re-survey of the Mason and Dixon line to demarcate the boundary between PA and MD.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 5/23/2007 7:00:13 PM
Waymark Code: WM1K23
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 70

Long Description:
USCGS West Line Stone 216, 1902, PA-MD, is a 10-inch by 10-inch dressed white marble (saccharoidal dolomite or magnesian marble) shaft that projects 18 inches. In 1900 – 1903, W.C Hodgkins of the US Coast & Geodetic Survey (USC&GS) set this stone to mark the line as originally surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in 1767. It is located on private agricultural property about 1,500 feet north of the end of Garletts Road, about 4.1 miles southwest of Addison, PA, about 2.8 miles east-southeast of Markleysburg, PA, and on the Fayette County, PA, - Garrett County, MD, boundary line. It is labeled as marker number 216 (from the east end) of the PA-MD boundary. It is actually 192.54 miles west of the MD-PA-DE tri-state boundary intersection point at BOUNDARY MON 87 DE MD PA = RM2, PID = JU3841. The stone is in neither the National Geodetic Survey nor Geocaching databases.

Mason and Dixon first surveyed this section of the West Line on or about August 12, 1767, and finalized the position of the line on or about November 7, 1767. They did not set any stone monuments west of Sideling Hill (at about Mile 132) due to the absence of wagon-passable roads in the area. The existing stone was set in 1902. It was quarried, dressed and inscribed specifically for the 1900 – 1903 re-survey.

The stone resembles a Mason-Dixon intermediate mile marker (which would normally mark a mile point not divisible by 5), and is in fair to good good condition. It has a cut “P” on the north face, a cut “M” on the south face, the date “1767” cut into the east face, and the date “1902” cut into the west face. The top is clearly pyramidal (the apex rising about three inches above the plane of the base – a slightly greater pitch than on the original Mason-Dixon stones) but the apex has been flattened with about one inch of the stone removed. A triangular piece about six inches on a side has been chipped off the southwest corner of the top, and smaller pieces have been chipped off the northwest and northeast corners. The cut letters and figures are all intact. The stone is erect and stable. The stone was quarried in Cockeysville, Maryland, and has retained its original creamy white color.

The stone is located along a track road that leads north through a cultivated field. It is about nine feet east of the centerline of the road, and about 1,150 feet north of a gate. The stone has an orange Carsonite witness post at its north face, and a metal witness post at its south face. USC&GS benchmark disk V 120 RESET 1942 (not in either the Geocaching or NGS databases) is about 3.25 feet northeast of the stone.

The convention for naming the boundary stones along the West Line is to use the sequential number assigned each on the US Geological Survey (USGS) topographical charts. Consequently, since the stone at Mile 0 is labeled Stone 1 and several stones were set between even-mile points, Stone 216 does not mark an even mile point, but the point where the West Line crosses Elbinsville Road. This stone lies approximately 192.54 miles west of the original eastern end of the boundary line. This is in contrast to the Mason Dixon stones along the Tangent Line where the stone at Mile 0 is named such in the NGS and Geocaching databases, and there is little difference between the stone’s number and its mileage from the line’s origin. Due to the roughness of the terrain west of Sideling Hill, both the Mason and Dixon Survey and the 1900 – 1903 USCGS Survey were less concerned with marking every mile point than with marking where the West Line crossed ridges and roads.

To reach from Exit 4 off Interstate Highway 68 in Friendsville, MD, go west and north on MD State Highway 42 (Friendsville Road) for about 6.4 miles to the intersection with Frazee Ridge Road. Turn right and go east and northeast on Frazee Ridge Road for about 2.5 miles to the T-intersection with Garletts Road. Turn left and go northerly on Garletts Road for about 0.4 miles to a farmyard. With permission of the owner, continue north through the farmyard and a gate, now on a track road for about 0.22 miles to the stone on the right.

The West Line is the southern boundary of Pennsylvania. It is a line of constant latitude that extends from an intersection with the Twelve Mile Circle boundary of Delaware (about 2.8 miles north-northwest of Newark, DE) westward for about 252.7 miles to the southwest corner of Pennsylvania (about 30 miles northwest of Morgantown, WV). In 1766 and 1767, Mason and Dixon marked the first 132 miles (starting at the east end of the line) with stones. Beyond the 132 mile point, they used cairns and posts to mark the miles to the limit of their survey (about 230 miles). Subsequent surveys, most notably in 1901-1903, added stone markers and replaced several of the original stones.

In 1632, Charles I of England granted George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore, the land north of the Potomac River to the 40th Parallel. Calvert named the colony Maryland. In 1681, Charles II granted William Penn all the land west of the Delaware River between the 40th and 43rd Parallels, but excluding the land within a twelve mile circle around New Castle. [Apparently, accurate information about the colonies’ geography was a bit sketchy – the 40th Parallel is about 23.5 miles north of New Castle.]

By 1732, a large number of Pennsylvanians had settled on lands south of the 40th Parallel, and the Penn Family initiated negotiations to re-define the colony’s boundary line with Maryland. The negotiations failed and, in 1738, colonial surveyors ran a temporary boundary line 15 ½ miles south of Philadelphia on the east side of the Susquehanna River and 14 ¾ miles south of the city on the west side of the river. After protracted legal action, the Court of Chancery in 1760 ruled in favor of the Penns’ proposal to revise southward the boundary as originally described in the 1681 grant. The West Line, constituting the northern boundary line of Maryland with Pennsylvania, was to be a parallel of constant latitude fifteen miles south of the most southern point in Philadelphia, and was to extend from the northeast corner of Maryland (defined elsewhere) westward to a point equal to five degrees of longitude west of the Delaware River. By ruling that the line would be 15 miles south of Philadelphia, the Court relocated the boundary line about 19.16 miles south of the 40th Parallel. The Court of Chancery also appointed four colonial surveyors to survey and mark all the common boundary lines of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware, but the task proved to be beyond the surveyors’ capabilities.

In 1763, the proprietors of Pennsylvania (and Delaware) and Maryland engaged Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to run and mark the boundary lines between the three colonies in accordance with the Court of Chancery’s findings. In 1764, Mason and Dixon established the location of the line of constant latitude 15 miles south of Philadelphia and established the initial point for the West Line ( and marked it with the “Post Mark’d West”). The West Line started at a point where a line that ran due north from Delaware’s Twelve Mile Circle boundary (the “North Line”) intersected the line of constant latitude. This intersection stood about three miles west of the initial point at the Post Mark’d West. In 1765, Mason and Dixon surveyed the West Line to about 117 miles west of the Post Mark’d West (or, 114 miles west of the eastern end of the West Line). In 1766, they extended the West Line to about 165 miles from the initial point and, in 1767, they extended the line to about 234 miles west of the Post Mark’d West. They fell about 21 miles short of surveying the line for the full five degrees of latitude from the Delaware River. The colonial commissioners could not secure permission from the Native Americans who controlled the territory to continue.

Mason and Dixon were assisted by three colonial surveyors: Joel Bailey, Jonathan Cope and William Darby. They also engaged the services of a small army of axmen, teamsters and other laborers.

Mason and Dixon set a stone at the intersection of the North Line and West Line on June 18, 1765. In November, 1766, they set 64 limestone mile markers from Mile 1 through Mile 65 (leaving Mile 64 unmarked). In November and December, 1767, Richard Farrow, Mason and Dixon’s labor contractor, set 68 additional limestone markers from Mile 66 through Mile 132 (plus Mile 64). Jonathan Cope supervised the setting of the stones in 1767. In November, 1768, (about two months after Mason and Dixon left America) the joint boundary commissioners set a double crown stone at the northeast corner of Maryland

Along the West Line, the five-mile intervals are marked with stones that have the Penn and Calvert armorial shields on the north and south faces, respectively. The intermediate mile markers have a cut “P” on the north face and a cut “M” on the south. The stones are high-grade oolitic limestone – greater than 95 percent calcium carbonate – and were quarried near the Isle of Portland (a peninsula) on the south coast of England. The dense limestone is generically known as “Portland Stone”. The intermediate mileposts are generally 12-inches by 12-inches and about 36 inches in length, and few stones project more than 24 inches. The crown stones are about a foot longer and generally project about 24 inches. The vertical faces of the stones are fluted vertically (with very shallow flutes), with a two-inch band of horizontal fluting at the corners. The tops originally were pyramidal and fluted. Due to weathering and damage, the tops of most stones are flat or slightly rounded. The cut letters are about five inches in height and are surrounded by an eight-inch flattened oval. Many of the stones have chiseled X’s in their tops.

Colonial surveyors John Leukens, John Ewing, David Rittenhouse, Thomas Hutchins and Andrew Ellicott completed the survey by determining the southwest corner of Pennsylvania in 1787.

In 1849, Lt. Col. J. D. Graham, US Corps of Topographical Engineers (USCTE), re-surveyed the Arc Line and the North Line. The USCTE survey set a new, granite survey stone at the intersection of the North and West Lines; both the original Mason-Dixon stone and the 1768 double crown stone had disappeared in the early 1800’s. The USCTE stone is a 14-inch by 14-inch granite shaft that projects about 24 inches. It has an inscribed “P” on the north and east faces, and an inscribed “M” on the south and west faces. Additionally, “1849” is inscribed on the north face. It is in the NGS database at PID = JU3841 (BOUNDARY MON 87 DE MD PA = RM2).

In 1885, C. H. Sinclair of the US Coast & Geodetic Survey re-surveyed the Pennsylvania – West Virginia boundary line and set a stone on the boundary near the PA-WV-MD boundary intersection point.

In 1889, the Pennsylvania and Delaware agreed to a re-survey of and adjustment to their common boundary lines. In 1892, a joint boundary commission engaged W. C. Hodgkins of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey (USCGS, now the National Geodetic Survey) to conduct the survey. As part of the survey and boundary adjustment, Hodgkins extended the West Line eastward (for about 0.789 miles) until it intersected the Twelve Mile Circle boundary line centered on New Castle, Delaware. The extension of the West Line eastward created a line segment known as the “Top of the Wedge Line”. Both Delaware and the US Congress ratified the result in 1921.

By extending the West Line eastward, Hodgkins changed the intersection of the North and West Lines from the MD-PA boundary intersection point to a MD-DE-PA tri-state intersection point. The point is called the MDP Corner today, and is still marked with the 1849 USCTE granite stone at PID = JU3841. The intersection of the West Line and Twelve Mile Circle is marked with a gneiss frustum (truncated obelisk), 14 inches square at the bottom and 12 inches square at the top, that projects about four and one-half five feet, and is at PID = JU3827 (BOUNDARY INIT PT DE MD PA = ARC CORNER).

Subsequent surveys, most notably in 1901-1903, added granite or marble markers (similar in design to the original Mason-Dixon stones) to the West Line, and replaced several original Mason-Dixon stones that had gone missing. In recent years, the Mason-Dixon Line Preservation Partnership and other professional surveying bodies have replaced several of the missing stones. In 2002 and 2003, they replaced missing original stones with granite crown stones at Mile 10 and Mile 75.

Mason, Charles and Jeremiah Dixon, “The Journal of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon”, transcribed by A. Hughlett Mason (American Philosophical Society, 1969)

Bayliff, William H., “The Maryland-Pennsylvania and Maryland-Delaware Boundaries”, (Maryland Board of Natural Resources, Bulletin 4 Second Edition, 1959)

Cummings, Hubertis M., “The Mason and Dixon Line, Story for a Bicentenary, 1763-1963”, (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Internal Affairs, 1962)

Danson, Edwin “Drawing the Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America” (John Wiley & Sons, 2001)

Hodgkins, W. C., “Report of the Engineer in Charge of the Resurvey of the Boundary Between Maryland and Pennsylvania, Part of the Mason and Dixon Line”, in William Bullock Clark, “Report on the Work of the Commission for the Resurvey of the Pennsylvania – Maryland Part of the Mason and Dixon Line”, (Annapolis, Maryland Geological Survey, 1908), pp. 37 – 101.

Wikipedia article: “Mason-Dixon line” at (visit link)

Miscellaneous National Geodetic Survey datasheets and state historical signs
Monumentation Type: Dressed stone

Monument Category: State boundary marker

Explain Non-Public access:
Located on private agricultural property. Access with owner's permission only. Property is fenced, gated and posted.

Historical significance:
See above

County: Garrett County, MD, - Fayette County, PA

USGS Quad: Friendsville (MD-PA-WV)


Approximate date of monument: 07/01/1902

Monumentation Type (if other): Not listed

Monument Category (if other): Not listed

Accessible to general public: Not Listed

Monument Website: 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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