USCTE West Line Stone 223, 1860, PA-WV
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member seventhings
N 39° 43.268 W 079° 29.234
17S E 629655 N 4397900
Quick Description: USCTE West Line Stone 223, 1860, PA-WV, is a roughly-dressed sandstone monument that marks what was once though to be the PA-MD-WV tri-state boundary intersection point.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 7/16/2007 5:52:48 PM
Waymark Code: WM1VXK
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Black Dog Trackers
Views: 93

Long Description:
USCTE West Line Stone 223, 1860, PA-WV, is a roughly-dressed sandstone monument, about 12 inches square and projecting about 30 inches. It was set by Lt. N. Michler of the US Corps of Topographic Engineers (USCTE) 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 “Michler Stone”. The stone is located along the east side of PA State Highway 281 & WV State Highway 26, about 9.3 miles northeast of Bruceton Mills, WV, about 8.5 miles west-southwest of Addison, PA, about 5.9 miles northwest of Friendsville, MD, about 2.0 miles southwest of Markleysburg, PA, about 0.55 miles west 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, - Preston County, WV, boundary line. The stone is in neither the National Geodetic Survey nor Geocaching database. It is about 197.06 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 55.07 miles east of the southwest corner of PA.

The stone lies about 32 feet east of the centerline of PA State Highway 281, and about 11.5 feet northeast of a modern, seven-foot, concrete obelisk that marks the boundary line. The stone is in very poor condition. It is badly chipped and gouged, and the top portion of the east face is missing. There appear to be the remains of an inscription on the west face, but it is unreadable.

Lt. Michler set this stone, at the behest of Maryland, after running a true meridian north from the Fairfax Stone. Virginia (later, West Virginia) did not accept Michler’s meridian as the true boundary line, preferring, instead, the older line run by Francis Deakins in 1787-88. The 1908 “Report of the Engineer” of the 1900–03 US Coast & Geodetic Survey’s re-survey of the Mason-Dixon line describes the stone as follows: “Tall slim monument of white granite of sandstone, standing in a fence line just east of the road leading from Somerfield, PA, to Brandonville, WV, locally known as the “mud pike”. This monument is said to have been placed here before the Civil War by Lieutenant Michler of the United States Army, to mark the northwest corner of Maryland. The stone has been very badly mutilated by vandals, no trace of any inscription remaining.”

The USCTE was incorporated into the US Army Corps of Engineers shortly after the Civil War.

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 223 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, or where the Deakins Line intersected the West Line.

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. Turn right and go west and southwest on PA State Highway 281 for about 2.3 miles to a pipeline crossing, the state boundary line, a tall, concrete state boundary marker, and the stone on the left.
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 – Preston County, WV

USGS Quad: Friendsville (PA - MD - WV)


Approximate date of monument: 07/01/1860

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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Recent Visits/Logs:
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wild-wildbill visited USCTE West Line Stone 223, 1860, PA-WV 6/13/2009 wild-wildbill visited it
Algoma! visited USCTE West Line Stone 223, 1860, PA-WV 4/27/2008 Algoma! visited it

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