Friday, March 20, 2020

The Demarcation Between North & South

As we wrap up celebrations for National Surveyors Week it seems like the perfect opportunity to shine a light on possibly the most famous border in America - the Mason-Dixon Line. Having grown up in Maryland and a short 0.25-miles from Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon Line holds a soft-spot in my heart as my first geographic “discovery”, and likely the catalyst that guided me into the geospatial sciences.

At the ripe age of 5 my best friend and I were wandering through the woods on our own exploratory mission (yes, you could do that without parental supervision in my day), when we stumbled upon a headstone atop a small ridgeline. Excited that we had found the grave of some unknown person with just the initials M and P, we hurried home, grabbed my dad, and brought him to our discovery…what I now know as Milestone #156.

The memories came rushing back as I read a recent article about the upcoming decennial survey of the 196-mile border stretching from Delaware to the point where Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia meet, and reflected on how this invisible boundary has shaped the very fabric of our country.

Thank you, to all the surveyors (past and present) that have made a difference in my life.

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