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The Third Principal Meridian
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member S5280ft
N 38° 28.447 W 089° 08.641
16S E 312969 N 4260599
Quick Description: Located in a small roadside park at the northeast corner of US-51 and CR 2400.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 1/25/2008 8:03:22 PM
Waymark Code: WM31GR
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 73

Long Description:
From the Historical Marker on-site:

At the point where U.S. Highway 51 and the Jefferson-Marion County road meet, the Third Principal Meridian intersects its east-west base line. This cardinal point was established by a Federal surveyor on February 1, 1815. At least 60 percent of the land in Illinois is measured from and identified by these two important coordinates.
In the original thirteen states land has been measured by metes and bounds, employing known landmarks and compass points, but the system had proved inaccurate and impermanent. As a result, the Jefferson Committee on Public Lands devised the rectangular method in 1784. It became law the following year with the passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785, which applied to government land not yet surveyed in the area northwest of the Ohio River.

The ordinance stated that "The surveyors as they are respectively qualified shall proceed to divide the said territory into townships of six miles square, by lines running due north and south, and others crossing these at right angles, as near as may be." Each new survey had to be tied to a principal meridian and its base line. The First Principal Meridian was laid out to govern land mostly in the Ohio country; the Second mostly in Indiana; and the Third--running due north from the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers--in Illinois only.

Surveyors' townships are numbered north and south of a base line and placed in ranges that are numbered east and west of a meridian. Unless a township is fractional it is further divided into 36 sections, each measuring one mile by one mile. A full section contains 640 acres.

Erected in 1976 by the Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society.
Monumentation Type: Dressed stone

Monument Category: Meridian Line marker

Accessible to general public: yes

Monument Website: [Web Link]

County: Marion

Approximate date of monument: 01/01/1815

Monumentation Type (if other): Not listed

Monument Category (if other): Not listed

Explain Non-Public access: Not listed

Historical significance: Not listed

USGS Quad: Not listed

NGS PID: 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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