Indiana Initial Point Memorial

Indiana Initial Point Memorial (HMW3R)

Location: Paoli, IN 47454 Orange County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 33.357', W 86° 28.11'

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Commemorating our Native Indians, our forefathers who planned and put into effect our Public Land System, the U.S. Deputy Public land Surveyors and our early prominent land surveyors

( Center are the plotted Survey Plaques )

Contributing sponsors to Indiana Historical Landmarks, Inc.

Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors
Orange County Pivot Point Association
Indiana County Surveyors Association

( Two "Keys" to the survey )

[[ Plaque ?One' - - Obverse Side ]]

A Brief History Concerning the Locating of the Initial Point.

The initial point at the intersection of the Base Line with the second Principal Meridian from which the major portion of the Public Lands in Indiana are described and have their beginning is located South 30?04'50" West 359.18 feet from this plaque and is identified by a small limestone marked on the top (S31). This stone was set during the latter part of the 19th Century (about 1879 to 1886) to replace a wood post and to perpetuate the initial point established on September 1, 1805 by U. S. Deputy Surveyor Ebenezer Buckingham, Jr.

The base line was established by E. Buckingham, Jr., by running a line due East from a point on the Southerly line at or near the Westerly corner of the Vincennes Tract as surveyed by Thomas Freeman in 1803. The Second Principal Meridian was established by Mr. Buckingham 12 miles East of the Southerly corner of Mr. Freeman's survey of the Vincennes Tract. The intersection of this Base Line and the Second Principal Meridian forms the Initial Point. The Second Principal Meridian was established to be in the geographic center of the State of Indiana. There being 15 Ranges of Townships West to the Southwesterly corner of the State and 15 Ranges of Townships East to that part of the First Principal Meridian North of the Greenville Treaty of 1795.

The First Principal Meridian marks the boundary line between the States of Ohio and Indiana and its longitude is 84? 49'13" West of Greenwich, England and was established by Israel Ludlow in 1795. The longitude of the Second Principal Meridian is 86? 27'20" West and the extreme West Boundary of the State of Indiana is longitude 88? 05'31". The latitude of the Base Line is 38? 28'10" North of the Equator.

[[ Plaque ?Two' - - Obverse Side ]]

A Brief History of the Indiana Historical Landmarks Inc.

The Indiana Historical landmarks Inc., came into existence primarily in order to bring to the attention of the citizens of Indiana the importance of the rectangular system of the U. S. Public Land Surveys, which had its birth in the States of Ohio and Indiana in the late years of the eighteenth Century. And also to memorialize our founding forefathers for their wisdom and foresight, the Indiana Indians, their tribes, the U. S. Deputy land Surveyors who laid out the Sections, Townships and Ranges in Indiana, the early prominent land surveyors of each Indiana County and to all those who have contributed so generously, funds and/or services to make this project possible.

Five members from each of the following organizations: the Indiana Society of professional Land Surveyors, the Indiana County Surveyors Association and an inspired group of citizens at Paoli, Indiana, known as the orange County Pivot Point Association, first met at Paoli on January 12, 1965 and thereafter formed the Indiana Historical Landmarks which was incorporated on March 17, 1965.

A boundary line survey was made of the 18 acre tract, the land purchased and an access road constructed by contributing assistance.

On July 22, 1968 a co-operative agreement was entered into with the U. S. Forest Service to assist in the continuation of the improvements, construct a miniature state of Indiana around the initial point and to provide proper maintenance and supervision of the memorial project. Shortly thereafter title to the site was conveyed to the U. S. Forest Service.

Funds for the purchase of the site, the early construction of the access road, the erection and casting of the plaques, etc., were obtained from donors whose names, or names selected by them as memorial appear on the two outer bands of the memorial plaque.

By the Grace of God

Dedicated October 14, 1973

[[ Small Plaque - - Side of Memorial ]]

This memorial marker contains zinc reproductions of the original copper memorial plaques placed on a large limestone marker at the initial "Pivot" Point Park locate approximately South five degrees East, five and three quarter miles from this location, and about one half mile West of Indiana State highway No. 37, where the original copper plaques were dedicated on October 14th, 1973 and then desecrated and completely destroyed by vandals sometime during the Summer of 1977.

Trusting that future generations will overcome vandalism and wanton destruction, so that a reproduction of this plaque may be placed on the memorial stone at the initial "Pivot" point Park where it rightfully belongs.

This memorial is placed at this location by consent of the present members of the Orange County, Board of Commissioners by their Action on November 7, 1977 as Recorded in the Orange County Commissioners Record Book No. 26, Page 51.

Erected by Indiana Historical Landmarks, Inc.

Dedicated this 10th Day of
September, 1978.
HM NumberHMW3R
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 1:17am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 546309 N 4267635
Decimal Degrees38.55595000, -86.46850000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 33.357', W 86° 28.11'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 33' 21.42" N, 86° 28' 6.60" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)812
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401-499 Indiana's Historic Pathways - South Spur, Paoli IN 47454, US
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