ZERO MILE WASHINGTON DC
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
N 38° 53.706 W 077° 02.193
18S E 323383 N 4307107
Quick Description: ZERO Milestone on the Ellipse Washington DC
Location: District of Columbia, United States
Date Posted: 12/8/2007 7:11:36 AM
Waymark Code: WM2QHQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member flipflopnick
Views: 294

Long Description:
HV1847 ZERO MILESTONE

1791

The Washington Zero Meridian is established by Andrew Ellicott (1754-1820) in laying out the streets and lots of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia according to the plan of Pierre L'Enfant. The Washington prime meridian (0° 0') is drawn through the site of the proposed Capitol, 77° 00' 33".533 west of Greenwich, England. An east-west line, also passing through the Capitol, is established at the same time.

In 1804, a new Washington meridian is established through the center of the White House that extends north on contemporary 16th Street (source of the names for Meridian Hill and Meridian House, headquarters of the Association of American Geographers). The intersection of this second Washington meridian and Ellicott's east-west baseline is delineated with a stone marker. Although the original marker is subsequently altered, the Jefferson Pier, as it comes to be known, continues to delineate the site today. It serves as a Federal Base Network point (the geodetic control point with the highest level of accuracy in the District of Columbia) and is located 371 feet west and 123 feet north of the center of the Washington Monument. The location of this second Washington meridian is also delineated by The Zero Milestone located between the White House and the Washington Monument, which is established in the 1920s to serve as the point from which highway distances from Washington, D.C. are measured. It provides a contemporary rendering of the Itinerary Column originally proposed by Pierre L'Enfant to measure distances from the capital city to other portions of the continent. The White House-centered meridian, along with a third one established in the 1840s at the Old Naval Observatory, serve as zero meridians for numerous American maps throughout the first half of the nineteenth century. Zero meridian lines are established for mapping purposes elsewhere in the United States-Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Charlestown, South Carolina among other locales. The United States Congress on September 28, 1850 officially adopts the Old Naval Observatory as the national meridian for astronomical purposes and well-known meridian at Greenwich, England for nautical purposes. (see International Prime Meridian Conference entry at 1884) [Joseph Hyde Pratt. American Prime Meridians. Geographical Review 32 (1942): 233-244; Matthew H. Edney. Cartographic Culture and Nationalism in the Early United States: Benjamin Vaughan and the Choice for a Prime Meridian. Journal of Historical Geography 4 (1994): 384-395.

Documented History (by the NGS)
Unknown by PBPP (MONUMENTED)

1/1/1926 by CGS (GOOD)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1926 AT WASHINGTON. AT WASHINGTON, AT THE NORTH SIDE OF THE ELLIPSE, AT THE JUNCTION OF THE ELLIPSE ROAD AND THE STREET SOUTH OF THE WHITE HOUSE GROUNDS, BETWEEN TWO CONCRETE SIDEWALKS, AND AT THE ZERO MILESTONE. THE TOP OF A SMALL PYRAMID AT THE CENTER OF A BRONZE COMPASS ROSE ON TOP OF THE MILESTONE. NOTE-- TIDAL STATION PREVIOUSLY DESIGNATED ZERO MILESTONE=NW 2=TIDAL MARK.

Here is just a little more of the History of this Marker.
ZERO MILESTONE
As always have fun be safe and

HAPPY..................................WAYMARKING

Condition: Immaculate

Date placed: 06/04/1923

Material: Stone

Inscription:
On the side facing south toward the Washington Monument: POINT FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF DISTANCES FROM WASHINGTON ON HIGHWAYS OF THE UNITED STATES The west face notes the 1919 tour: STARTING POINT OF FIRST TRANSCONTINENTAL MOTOR CONVOY OVER THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY, JULY 7, 1919 The engraving on the east face commemorates the second Army convoy: STARTING POINT OF SECOND TRANSCONTINENTAL MOTOR CONVOY OVER THE BANKHEAD HIGHWAY, JUNE 14, 1920 According to information Dr. Johnson provided at the time, the bronze disc on top of the milestone is "an adaptation from ancient Portolan charts of the so-called 'wind roses' or 'compass roses' from the points of which extended radial lines to all parts of the then known world-the prototype of the modern mariner's compass." The Zero Milestone is located at the Meridian of the District of Columbia, 77.02', which previously was marked by the "Jefferson Stone" placed in 1804. The latitude is 38.53' 43.32". The elevation is 23'65" above sea level. A brass plate placed on the ground at the north base of the milestone-now illegible from wear and tear-originally read: THE U.S. COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY DETERMINED THE LATITUDE LONGITUDE AND ELEVATION OF THE ZERO MILESTONE


Name of road: ELLIPSE ROAD

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