Boundary Stones (District of Columbia)


Boundary Stones (District of Columbia)

The Boundary Markers of the Original District of Columbia are the 40 milestones that a survey team led by Major Andrew Ellicott placed in 1791 and 1792 to mark the future District's boundaries. Today, 37 of the marker stones survive as the oldest federal monuments in the United States.

The survey team created a visto, or clearing, that encompassed a square of 100 square miles (259 km²) of federal territory that became the District of Columbia in 1801. Each side of the square was 10 miles long. The axes between the corners of the square ran north-south and east-west. [ Boundary markers of the Nation's Capital : a proposal for their preservation & protection : a National Capital Planning Commission Bicentennial report. National Capital Planning Commission, Washington, DC, 1976; for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office]

The north-south axis is now located between 17th and 18th Streets, NW; the east-west axis is between Constitution Avenue and C Street, NE and NW. [ The north-south axis is a straight line connecting the north and south cornerstones of the original District of Columbia. The east-west axis is a straight line connecting the east and west cornerstones of the original District of Columbia. The map of the boundary stones in [http://www.boundarystones.org "Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia"] "in" [http://www.boundarystones.org website of boundary stones.org] (Accessed August 18, 2008) identifies the location of each cornerstone.] The center of the square is within the grounds of the Organization of American States headquarters west of the Ellipse. [Coordinates of the center of the square of the original District of Columbia: coord|38.893085|-77.040773|type:landmark|name=Center of the square of the original District of Columbia. The center of the square of the original District of Columbia is the crossing of the north-south axis line and the east-west axis line.]

The survey began at the square's south corner at Jones Point in Alexandria, Virginia, at the confluence of the Potomac River and Hunting Creek. [Boundary markers of the Nation's Capital : a proposal for their preservation & protection : a National Capital Planning Commission Bicentennial report. National Capital Planning Commission, Washington, DC, 1976; for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office] The survey team placed sandstone boundary markers at or near every mile point along the sides of the square, starting at the south corner and continuing clockwise. The markers were quarried near Aquia Creek in Virginia. Most weighed about a half-ton at their emplacement; the four corner stones were slightly larger. The Virginia stones were set in 1791 and the Maryland ones in 1792.

The side of a boundary marker that faced the federal territory was inscribed "Jurisdiction of the United States". The opposite side was marked with the name of the border state: Virginia or Maryland. The remaining sides were marked with the year that the team placed the stones and with the marker's compass reading.

In the early 1900s, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) placed fences around the markers.

In the 1990s, most of the markers were entered on the National Register of Historic Places as parts of "Multiple Property Submissions" (or "MPS") for Boundary Markers of the Original District of Columbia for Virginia in 1991 and for the District of Columbia in 1996. [ [http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/research/mpslist.htm U.S. National Park Service: National Register of Historic Places: National Register Information System: Multiple Property Submission List] ] [ [http://www.nr.nps.gov/nrcover.htm U.S. National Park Service: National Register Information System: Multiple Covers (Historic Contexts)] Search page for retrieving Multiple Property Submissions]

Virginia

This boundary marker in Virginia was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and further was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark, in 1976 at the instigation of the Black Bicentennial Committee, which gave the stone its name: [Benjamin Banneker: SW 9 Intermediate Boundary Stone in " [http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/va/Arlington/state.html VIRGINIA - Arlington County] " listings at [http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/ National Register of Historic Places] ]

District of Columbia

The following boundary markers (located in the District of Columbia and Maryland) were added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 1, 1996. [ East Corner, North Corner, Northeast No. 2, Northeast No. 3, Northeast No. 4, Northeast No. 5, Northeast No. 6, Northeast No. 7, Northeast No. 8, Northeast No. 9, Northwest No. 4, Northwest No. 5, Northwest No. 6, Northwest No. 7, Northwest No. 8, Northwest No. 9, Southeast No. 1, Southeast No. 2, Southeast No. 3, Southeast No. 5, Southeast No. 6, Southeast No. 7, and Southeast No. 9 Boundary Markers of the Original District of Columbia in " [http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/DC/District+of+Columbia/state.html DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - District of Columbia County] " listings at [http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com National Register of Historic Places] ]

Missing boundary markers

Four of the forty original boundary markers were not in or near their original locations in 2006. Three of these had been replaced with substitute markers. ["Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia" from [http://www.boundarystones.org/ boundary stones.org] ]

outhwest No. 2 Boundary Marker

The original marker disappeared before 1900. A marker stone now within a DAR fence near the street curb at 7 Russell Road north of King Street in Alexandria is a replacement. DAR records show that the replacement marker was placed at that location in 1920. The replacement marker lacks an inscription and does not resemble an original boundary marker. [SW2 in "Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia" from [http://www.boundarystones.org/ boundary stones.org] ]

Northeast No. 1 Boundary Marker

A photograph taken in the early 1900s shows a ceremony that members of the DAR conducted when they placed a fence around this marker stone, which was then in a field. [Boundary markers of the Nation's Capital : a proposal for their preservation & protection: a National Capital Planning Commission Bicentennial report. National Capital Planning Commission, Washington, DC, 1976; for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office] The stone was bulldozed and removed in September 1952 during the construction of a storefront at 7847 Eastern Avenue, NE, northwest of the avenue's intersection with Georgia Avenue. A bronze plaque in the sidewalk in front of a shop at the site marks the stone's former location. [NE1 in "Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia" from [http://www.boundarystones.org/ boundary stones.org] ]

outheast No. 4 Boundary Marker

This marker was located in 1976 along Southern Avenue a few feet southeast of the avenue's intersection with Naylor Road. [Boundary markers of the Nation's Capital : a proposal for their preservation & protection: a National Capital Planning Commission Bicentennial report. National Capital Planning Commission, Washington, DC, 1976; for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office] The stone subsequently disappeared but was recovered by volunteers from the Maryland Society of Surveyors while working on a resurvey of the DC line. David R. Doyle of Silver Spring, Maryland, placed the marker in his garage in 1991. [SE4 in "Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia" from [http://www.boundarystones.org/ boundary stones.org] ]

outheast No. 8 Boundary Marker

This marker disappeared during construction in 1958. A replacement marker stone that lacks an inscription is located in the southeast corner of the Blue Plains Impoundment Lot on the Maryland side of the impoundment lot's fence. The replacement stone is nearly eight feet below ground level. A concrete pipe embedded in a mound of gravel marks the replacement stone's site. The top of the replacement stone could be seen through the interior of the pipe in 2006. [SE8 in "Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia" from [http://www.boundarystones.org/ boundary stones.org] ]

Additional Boundary Markers

Three additional stones mark the boundary lines that separate the District of Columbia and Maryland. One such marker exists near the northernmost point of Westmoreland Circle at the junction of Western Avenue NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW. [Coordinates of boundary marker in Westmoreland Circle: coord|38.949213|-77.10084|type:landmark|name=Boundary marker in Westmoreland Circle] This marker is between the Northwest No. 5 and Northwest No. 6 boundary markers of the original District of Columbia.

A similar marker is in Friendship Heights, near the curb of the north corner of Western Avenue NW and Wisconsin Avenue. [Coordinates of boundary marker in Friendship Heights: coord|38.961025|-77.08571|type:landmark|name=Boundary marker in Friendship Heights] This marker is between the Northwest No. 6 and Northwest No. 7 boundary markers of the original District of Columbia.

Another similar marker stands in a traffic circle near Silver Spring at the junction of Eastern Avenue NW, 16th Street NW and Colesville Road. [Coordinates of boundary marker near Silver Spring: coord|38.992346|-77.036334|type:landmark|name=Boundary marker near Silver Spring] This marker is between the North Corner boundary marker and the former site of the Northeast No. 1 boundary marker of the original District of Columbia.

ee also

* List of Registered Historic Places in the District of Columbia
* List of Registered Historic Places in Virginia

Notes

External links

* [http://www.boundarystones.org Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia]
* [http://www.dcdar.org/BoundaryStones.htm Boundary Stones Committee] , DC Daughters of the American Revolution
* [http://www.fairlington.org/boundarystones.htm Boundary Stone, Southeast 4] at [http://www.fairlington.org Fairlington Historic District]
* [http://www.novaregion.org Northern Virginia Regional Commission]
** [http://www.novaregion.org/boundary.htm Northern Virginia Regional Commission Considers Project To Preserve DC Boundary Markers]
** [http://www.boundarystones.org/read.php?page=novabostco_1995/html Northern Virginia Boundary Stones Committee: 1994-1995 Findings and Recommendations of the Northern Virginia Boundary Stones Committee (Sep. 1995)]
*Maps, photos and satellite images
** Locations and individual photographs of 40 boundary marker sites from [http://www.boundarystones.org boundary stones.org]
** Locations and individual photographs of 27 boundary markers from [http://zhurnaly.com/maps/DC_Boundary_Stones.html zhurnaly.com]
** South cornerstone of original District of Columbia:wikimapia|38.790346|-77.040604|17
** District of Columbia Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution: "Location of Boundary Stones (Mile Markers)" from [http://www.dcdar.org/BoundaryStoneLocations.htm dcdar.org]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of District of Columbia-related topics — The following is a list of topics about the United States District of Columbia. NOTOC compactTOC4 0–9*1 Observatory Circle *3 Sisters *23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution *51st State (hypothetical) *1600 Pennsylvania AvenueA*Adjacent …   Wikipedia

  • Coleman Station Historic District — U.S. National Register of Historic Places U.S. Historic district …   Wikipedia

  • Haddington Island (British Columbia) — Haddington Island is a small volcanic island in the Canadian province of British Columbia, located south of Malcolm Island and Broughton Strait. It is located in the Mount Waddington Regional District.The closest major community to Haddington… …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of Washington, D.C. — Map showing Washington, D.C. s location in relation to the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia Washington, D.C., US, is located at …   Wikipedia

  • Falls Church, Virginia — City of Falls Church   City   City of Falls Church …   Wikipedia

  • History of Washington, D.C. — The history of Washington, D.C. (officially known as the District of Columbia) is tied to its role as the capital of the United States. The site along the Potomac River was chosen for the capital city by George Washington. The city came under… …   Wikipedia

  • Andrew Ellicott — (January 24, 1754 ndash; August 28, 1820) was a U.S. surveyor who helped map many of the territories west of the Appalachians, surveyed the boundaries of the District of Columbia, continued and completed Peter (Pierre) Charles L Enfant s work on… …   Wikipedia

  • Washington, D.C. — This article is about the place. For the novel, see Washington, D.C. (novel). Washington, D.C.   Federal district   …   Wikipedia

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • James K. Polk — This article is about the U.S. president. For other uses, see James Polk (disambiguation). James Polk …   Wikipedia