USCGS West Line Stone 222, 1885, Pennsylvania - Maryland
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member seventhings
N 39° 43.269 W 079° 28.380
17S E 630875 N 4397922
Quick Description: USCGS West Line Stone 222, 1885, PA-MD, is a roughly-dressed sandstone monument that marks what was once though to be the PA-MD-WV tri-state boundary intersection point.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 7/16/2007 5:45:01 PM
Waymark Code: WM1VXH
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Black Dog Trackers
Views: 137

Long Description:
USCGS West Line Stone 222, 1885, PA-MD, is a roughly-dressed sandstone monument, about 16 inches square and projecting about 47 inches. It was set by Cephas Sinclair of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey (USCGS) and the members of the joint PA-WV boundary commission to mark what was thought (at the time) to be the PA-MD-WV tri-state boundary intersection point. It is usually identified as the “Sinclair Stone”. The stone is located along the east side of Brown Hill Road, about 9.8 miles northeast of Bruceton Mills, WV, about 7.8 miles west-southwest of Addison, PA, about 5.3 miles northwest of Friendsville, MD, about 1.35 miles southwest of Markleysburg, PA, about 0.2 miles east of the true PA-MD-WV tri-state boundary intersection point (established at the direction of the US Supreme Court in 1910), and on the Fayette County, PA, - Garrett County, MD, boundary line. The stone is in neither the National Geodetic Survey nor Geocaching database. It is about 196.31 miles west of the PA-MD-DE tri-state boundary intersection point (the east end of the West Line) at BOUNDARY MON 87 DE MD PA = RM2, PID = JU3841, and about 55.81 miles east of the southwest corner of PA.

The joint boundary commissioners’ report describes the stone as follows: “On the north face is inscribed the date of the survey 1885, and the initials ‘Pa.’ The South, East and West faces are divided into equal parts by a vertical line, intended to show the intersection of the State lines. On the north half of the East face is inscribed the initials ‘Pa,’ on the south half the initials ‘Md.’ On the East half of the south face the initials ‘Md;’ on the west half the initials ‘W.V.’ The south half of the west face bears the initials ‘W.V.’ and the north half the initials ‘Pa.’ “ The commissioners’ report also describes the stones used in this survey as “sandstone”, but they appear to be an exceptionally dense type of sandstone (similar to the coarse-grained marble that is native to the area). Additionally, the mileage from the southwest corner of PA is inscribed on the east face – 55 4/10. The inscribed mileage understates the actual mileage by about 0.4 miles.

The stone lies about 17 feet east of the centerline of Brown Hill Road, and is in fair condition. The northeast corner of the top is missing, and most of the inscribed characters are either damaged or missing. The stone leans about two degrees to the south but otherwise appears to be stable.

In 1883, joint PA-WV boundary commission engaged Cephas Sinclair and Charles Van Orden of the USCGS to re-survey the states’ common boundary line from this stone to the southwest corner of PA and thence northward to the Ohio River. The re-survey was designed to re-establish the markers (mostly posts, cairns and mounds) left by Mason and Dixon in 1767, the 1782-83 survey by Alexander McLean and Joseph Neville, and the 1784-85 survey by James Madison, Robert Andrews, John Page and Andrew Ellicott of VA, and John Ewing, David Rittenhouse, John Lukens and Thomas Hutchins of PA. Sinclair and Van Orden noted that Mason and Dixon’s line deviated to the south between the tri-state intersection point and the western extent of their survey at Brown’s Hill (about 34.4 miles west of this position). But the joint commission elected not to correct the boundary line to the true parallel of latitude. Historian Thomas D. Cope noted that Sinclair and Van Orden erred (up to 0.75 miles) in their measurement of the line from Brown’s Hill to the southwest corner of PA.

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 222 does not mark an even mile point. This is in contrast to the Mason Dixon stones along the Tangent Line where the stone at Mile 0 is named as such in the NGS and Geocaching databases (and on the USGS quads), 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, the Mason and Dixon Survey and subsequent surveys 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 7.6 miles to the MD-PA state boundary line. Continue northerly for about 1.1 miles to the intersection with PA State Highway 281 (Main Street/Bruceton Road) in the village of Markleysburg, PA. Turn left and go south-southwest on PA State Highway 281 for about 0.1 miles to where the state highway leads off to the west. Continue southwesterly, now on Brown Hill Road for about 1.5 miles to a pipeline crossing, the state boundary line, and the stone on the left. CAUTION: After a short initial paved stretch, Brown Hill Road becomes very rough; four-wheel drive may be necessary in bad weather.


Babcock, Todd, et. al., Boundary Stone Inventory Forms, (Mason-Dixon Line Preservation Partnership). “Sinclair Stone” form dated 07/17/1993.

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

Cope, Thomas D., “Westward Five Degrees in Longitude”, Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences, vol. 22, 1948

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

Monumentation Type: Dressed stone

Monument Category: State boundary marker

Accessible to general public: yes

Explain Non-Public access:
Road right-of-way

Historical significance:
See above

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

USGS Quad: Friendsville (PA - MD - WV)


Approximate date of monument: 04/01/1885

Monumentation Type (if other): Not listed

Monument Category (if other): 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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