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North and South Meridian Stones, Burke County NC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member PFF
N 35° 44.749 W 081° 41.230
17S E 437868 N 3955974
Quick Description: A pair of 100-year-old granite stones creating a precise north-south line.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 11/24/2009 11:47:21 PM
Waymark Code: WM7R2E
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member stvanme
Views: 13

Long Description:
Monuments such as this were established in north-south pairs in many North Carolina counties between 1898 and 1906. Local surveyors were required to visit the site once per year and take compass readings. Deviation was recorded in a special book at the office of the Register of Deeds, at a fee of $5.00.



From a specifications chart, we know that each stone weighs approximately 400 pounds. Only the the top portion is "dressed". The top is 8 inches square and is inscribed "NCGS+USGS 1900". The center of the chisled cross is the precise survey point.



Over time, the construction of buildings and roads rendered many magnetic stations useless, and such was the case in Morganton. By 1915, it was reported that "owing to the proximity of the county jail, a new station was established about one mile to the southwest, in the southeastern part of the grounds of the North Carolina School for the Deaf." The new station was first used for magnetic readings by observer W.M. Hill on May 8, 1916. Hill. (Biennial Report of The State Geologist, 1915-1916, Page 159.)



The Waymark's coordinates are for the North Meridian stone and were obtained using my Garmin GPS receiver, averaged over a 5-minute period. The description written by NGS is:


ALONG GREEN STREET, 58 1/2 FEET NORTHEAST OF THE EAST CORNER OF THE NORTHEAST PORTICO OF THE BURKE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 18 1/2 FEET SOUTHWEST OF SOUTHWEST CURB OF SOUTH GREEN STREET, AND 2 FEET SOUTHWEST OF THE UPPERMOST OF NINE CONCRETE STEPS.



The South Meridian is about 200 feet away, at N35 44.716 W081 41.228. It projects 10 inches above the lawn, and is inscribed exactly like the north stone. The description (which was written by geocaching.com and is now part of the official data sheet) reads:



29.3 FEET WEST OF THE NORTH CORNER OF A ONE-STORY BRICK BUILDING AT 131 STERLING STREET, 44 FEET NORTHEAST OF THE STONE RETAINING WALL BESIDE THE SIDEWALK ALONG STERLING STREET, AND 60 FEET SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTH EDGE OF A CEMENT SIDEWALK ORIGINATING ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE COURT HOUSE.


Today, more than a century after they were set, it is becoming increasingly rare to find both stones in a Meridian station, especially at a court house. Far too often, one (or both) stones have been lost to the construction of buildings or roads. But since these stones have survived intact, step back in time and take a moment to check your compass by sighting along the north-south line which they define.


Directions: From Interstate 40, take Exit 105 and proceed northwesterly into Morganton. The court house will be about 2 miles on your left, at the intersection of Green and E. Union Streets.


The North Meridian can be logged as a benchmark (FA0996).

Monumentation Type: Dressed stone

Monument Category: Meridian Line marker

Accessible to general public: yes

Historical significance:
Established over 100 years ago as a calibration station, where a surveyor could check his compass. Now considered a "state treasure" by the North Carolina Geodetic Survey.


Monument Website: [Web Link]

County: Morganton NC

USGS Quad: MORGANTON SOUTH

NGS PID: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=FA0996

Approximate date of monument: 1/1/1900

Monumentation Type (if other): Not listed

Monument Category (if other): Not listed

Explain Non-Public access: 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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DukeRoom visited North and South Meridian Stones, Burke County NC 11/25/2015 DukeRoom visited it