Beginning Point of the U.S. Public Land Survey - East Liverpool, OH/Beaver Co., PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Ernmark
N 40° 38.550 W 080° 31.140
17T E 540670 N 4499183
Quick Description: A 'Witness Monument' placed at the Ohio/Pennsylvania border commemorating the spot 1112 feet South which served as the starting point of the 'western lands' eventually stretching to the West Coast.
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 11/10/2014 6:49:31 AM
Waymark Code: WMMVQ6
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member CHI-TOWN ROMEO
Views: 16

Long Description:
The stone obelisk at this location was set in 1881 and was listed on the Register of Historic Places in 1966. It commemorates an important spot in the history of U.S. surveying which was actually 1,112 feet to the south (N 40° 38.367, W 80° 31.140) and unfortunately lost. At one point the spot was under water, but appears to currently be in a paved area on commercial property.

The significance of the 'Point of Beginning' to surveying is that from this point, a system of rectangular grids was established to divide public lands into six-square-mile 'townships' as per the Ordinance of 1785. This led to the surveying of the Old Northwest Territory and eventually to the new territories of the Western United States.

The monument itself contains inscriptions in the stone face on the East (PA) & West (OH) sides, and a bronze National Historic Landmark plaque on the North side (the plaque was replaced in 2003).

Text on Pennsylvania side:

Erected in 1881 by a joint commission appointed by the states of Pennsylvania and Ohio to re-survey and re-mark the boundary line as established in 1786.

Text on Ohio side:

1112 feet south of this spot was the "point of beginning" for surveying the public lands of the United States. There, on September 30, 1785, Thomas Hutchins, first Geographer of the United States, began the Geographer's Line of the Seven Ranges. This inscription was dedicated September 30, 1960, in joint action of the East Liverpool Historical Society and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.



The Point of Beginning monument sits directly on the OH/PA border on the South side of OH Route 39 / PA Route 68

A marker placed by the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation a few yards in side Pennsylvania contains the following text regarding this spot:

No survey of the Western Lands of the United States could be made as required under the Land Ordinance of 1785 until the surveyors for Pennsylvania and Virginia set a marker on the North shore of the Ohio River. On August 20, 1785, that marker was set and concluded the North-South line between the two states. The original marker, long since lost, was located 1,112 feet South of this plaque and was also known as the "Point of Beginning" for the survey of the Western Lands, which began on September 30, 1785.

There are also 2 Historical Markers located just inside Ohio which provide additional information on the Land Ordinance of 1785, the Seven Ranges, and on Thomas Hutchins - the first Geographer of the United States. Click on the link below & see the nearby waymarks for more information on this site and its importance to the history of surveying in the United States.


Note - thanks to waymarker thebeav69 for reminding me of this historical spot & twisting my arm to get out here to photograph this stone.
Type of survey mark: Dressed Stone

What indicators are near the mark to help people identify where it is located?:
Monument sits on a concrete compass rose on the South side of OH Route 39/PA Route 68 and directly on the State Line. It is flanked on either side by historical markers.


What property is this mark defining?:
This offset monument marks the origin of the Township/Ranges system put into place which stretches out to the Western United States.


Visit Instructions:
Please submit a photo(s) taken by you of your visit to the location (non-copyrighted photos only). GPS photos are also accepted with the location in the background, and old vacation photos are accepted. If you are not able to provide a photo, then please describe your visit or give a story about the visit. If you have additional information about the survey mark which is not listed in the waymark description, please notify the waymark owner to have it added, and please post the information in your visit log.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Eagle-751 visited Beginning Point of the U.S. Public Land Survey - East Liverpool, OH/Beaver Co., PA 8/28/2019 Eagle-751 visited it
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