North and South Meridians, Swain County, North Carolina
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member PFF
N 35° 25.530 W 083° 26.975
17S E 277612 N 3922987
Quick Description: Granite monuments set in 1899 so local surveyors could calibrate their compasses.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 11/11/2006 6:17:29 PM
Waymark Code: WMYD2
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 78

Long Description:
During 1898-1899, USGS surveyors visited numerous North Carolina counties and established a True North line, marked with 400-pound granite monuments, inscribed USGS-NCGS. Crossed lines chisled into the top indicated the precise spot used for measurements.

Surveyors were required by law to visit the monuments once a year and check the deviation of their compasses. The readings were recorded in a special book at the Register of Deeds office.

The North Carolina Geodetic Survey is interested in knowing how many of these magnetic stations remain. GEOCACHING.COM volunteers have been invited to participate in the search. Our organization has found over a half-dozen, to date. Professional surveyors have reported finding another four sets. A copy of the original government report, showing the location used in each county, is available on the NCGS website.

Here is the report I filed following my trip to Bryson City, in Swain County. At the time of my observations, the HH2 (consumer-grade) GPS coordinates had an indicated accuracy of 5.3 feet.

ON NOVEMBER 4, 2006, THE SWAIN COUNTY NORTH AND SOUTH MERIDIAN STONES WERE RECOVERED IN THE BRYSON CITY CEMETERY. TO REACH FROM THE OLD COURTHOUSE SQUARE AT EVERETT ROAD AND US-19, PROCEED SOUTHWESTERLY ON US-19 TO INTERSECTION WITH VETERANS BLVD.

CONTINUE ACROSS INTERSECTION, WHICH BECOMES SCHOOL STREET. TRAVEL 0.12 MILE AND TURN RIGHT ONTO ARLINGTON ROAD. TAKE AN IMMEDIATE RIGHT ONTO HILLSIDE, AND THEN LEFT AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE CEMETERY.

PROCEED 300 FEET AND TURN NORTH (RIGHT) INTO THE CENTER OF THE CEMETERY. GO TO THE TOP OF THE HILL. THE NORTH MERIDIAN IS WEST OF THE PARKING AREA, APPROX 38 FEET BEARING 310 MAGNETIC FROM THE DK COLLINS HEADSTONE. IT IS 18 FEET, BEARING 080 MAGNETIC FROM THE CENTER OF THE LEATHERWOOD HEADSTONE. THE MONUMENT PROJECTS 23 CM. HH2 GPS COORDINATES N35 25 31.80, W083 26 57.42.

THE SOUTH MERIDAN IS 100 FEET TRUE SOUTH, BETWEEN (AND SLIGHTLY WEST OF) MATCHING HEADSTONES FOR WILLARD AND ALMA WHEELER. THE MONUMENT PROJECTS 30 CM. HH2 GPS COORDINATES
N35 25 30.78, W083 26 58.46.

BOTH MONUMENTS ARE INSCRIBED NCGS-USGS, WITH A CHISLED CROSS MARKING THE PRECISE SURVEY POINT. THIS MAGNETIC STATION WAS OCCUPIED BY J.B. BAYLOR (USGS) IN 1899.

Monumentation Type: Dressed stone

Monument Category: Meridian Line marker

Accessible to general public: yes

Historical significance:
Set by the U.S. Government in the late 1800's, to improve the accuracy of local surveys, specifically by reducing errors caused by varying magnetic declination.


Monument Website: [Web Link]

County: Swain County

Monumentation Type (if other): Not listed

Monument Category (if other): Not listed

Explain Non-Public access: Not listed

USGS Quad: Not listed

NGS PID: Not listed

Other Coordinates: Not Listed

Other Coordinates details: Not listed

Approximate date of monument: 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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Manville Possum visited North and South Meridians, Swain County, North Carolina 7/28/2017 Manville Possum visited it
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