2008-11-22

Bureau of Reclamation Mark

County: MADERA
State: CALIFORNIA

MAP LINK

PUBLISHED DATA
Lat: NA
Long: NA
Alt: NA
Designation: NA
Marker Type: NA
Setting: NA
Stability: NA

FOUND DATA
Lat: 36° 55.431
Long: 120° 08.262
Alt: 217

Found set in the center on a canal headwall on the north side of Avenue 12. One half mile east of Road 22, 35 feet north of the centerline of the road.

Benchmark detail.


The benchmark and the GPSr.


Benchmark coordinates.


The benchmark set in the center on a canal headwall.


View north up the canal.


View west along Avenue 12.


View east along Avenue 12.

GU0610 - N 510

County: MADERA
State: CALIFORNIA

PUBLISHED DATA
Lat: 36° 52.250
Long: 120° 19.200
Alt: 166.1
Designation: N 510
Marker Type: bench mark disk
Setting: set into the top of a round concrete monument
Stability: May hold, but of type commonly subject to surface motion.

Documented History (by the NGS)
1/1/1955 by CGS (MONUMENTED)

1/1/1958 by NGS (GOOD)
DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1958 7.7 MI E FROM FIREBAUGH. 6.2 MILES EAST ALONG FIREBAUGH-MADERA ROAD FROM THE COURTHOUSE AT FIREBAUGH, THENCE 1.5 MILES NORTHEAST ALONG FIREBAUGH BOULEVARD, IN R 15 E, T 12 S, S 22, AT THE CROSSING OF CHOWCHILLA CANAL, AT THE INTERSECTION OF A DIRT LEVEE ROAD ALONG THE WEST BANK OF THE CANAL, 48 1/2 FEET SOUTH OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE BOULEVARD, 61 FEET WEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE ROAD, 18 FEET SOUTH OF A FENCE CORNER POST, 5.0 FEET EAST OF A FENCE, 2 1/2 FEET NORTH OF A POWER LINE POLE, 1.7 FEET SOUTH OF A WITNESS POST, ABOUT 1 1/2 FEET LOWER THAN THE BOULEVARD, AND SET IN THE TOP OF A CONCRETE POST PROJECTING 0.3 FOOT ABOVE THE GROUND.

1/1/1965 by NGS (GOOD)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1965 RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.


FOUND DATA
Lat: 36° 52.262
Long: 120° 19.199
Alt: 146

Found USC&GS mark stamped 'N 510 - 1955' at 14:55, 22 November 2008 as described and in good condition. Go to description is generally adequate. The Chowchilla Canal has been rebuilt and moved east. The mark is approximately 200 feet west of the new canal. Firebaugh road has been built up to cross over the canal and the mark is approximately 7 feet lower than the road. There are no longer any fences in the area. The nearby power poles have been replaced. The mark is now about 7 feet north of an intersection power pole with lines going north, south, and west. The witness post is gone. The concrete post projects about 8" above the ground and is leaning slightly.

Published NAD83 coordinates are located about 75 feet south of the found WGS84 coordinates. WGS84 coordinates for the mark found by 3 minute occupation with 10 strong satellites and 2 WAAS satellites.

Benchmark details.


Benchmark coordinates.


The view northerly toward Firebaugh Road.


The view easterly toward the Eastside Bypass Canal.


The view northeasterly along Firebaugh Road and toward the Eastside Bypass Canal.


The view southwesterly along Firebaugh Road.


The view southeasterly toward the mark from Firebaugh Road. Recent survey activities are evident.

GU3436 - FIREBAUGH MUNICIPAL TANK

This mark was ORGINALLY VISITED January 03, 2003.

County: FRESNO
State: CALIFORNIA

PUBLISHED DATA
Lat: 36° 51.592
Long: 120° 27.281
Alt: 0
Designation: FIREBAUGH MUNICIPAL TANK
Marker Type: NGS Benchmark
Setting: setting not listed - see description
Stability:

Documented History (by the NGS)
1/1/1943 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1943 (JCS) THIS INTERSECTION STATION IS THE APEX OF THE MUNICIPAL WATER TANK IN THE TOWN OF FIREBAUGH. IT IS LOCATED ON THE E EDGE OF THE TOWN, ABOUT 0.2 MILE E OF THE MAIN INTERSECTION. THE TANK IS ELEVATED, ABOUT 100 FEET HIGH, WOODEN, AND PAINTED SILVER. INTERSECTED FROM MILLER, FIREBAUGH, OXALIS.

1/1/1962 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1962 (JCC) THE STATION WAS RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION AS PREVIOUSLY DESCRIBED IN 1943.

1/1/1970 by NGS (MONUMENTED)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1970 (LS) THE STATION SHOULD BE USED WITH CAUTION. THE STEEL SUPPORTING TOWER IS STILL IN PLACE BUT THE WOODEN TANK HAS BEEN REMOVED AND REPLACED WITH A METAL TANK CLOSE TO BUT PROBABLY NOT AT THE SAME EXACT POSITION. AIRLINE DISTANCE AND DIRECTION FROM NEAREST TOWN--AT FIREBAUGH

1/1/1971 by NGS (MONUMENTED)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1971 (WMJ) THE FIREBAUGH MUNICIPAL WATER TANK 1943 HAS BEEN DESTROYED AND A NEW TANK HAS BEEN BUILT NEAR THE SAME LOCATION.


FOUND DATA
Lat: 36° 51.584
Long: 120° 27.306
Alt: 0

Revisited the Firebaugh Municipal Tank at 14:35, 22 November 2008. Found as described and in good condition. Go to description is adequate.

Published NAD83 coordinates are located about 130 feet east-southeast of the found WGS84 coordinates. WGS84 coordinates for the mark found by 2 minute occupation with 7strong satellites and 1 WAAS satellite.

The Firebaugh Municipal Water Tank.


The Firebaugh Municipal Water Tank detail.


View of the Firebaugh Municipal Water Tank from the southwest.


Coordinates for the Firebaugh Municipal Water Tank.

GU3435 - MENDOTA TIDEWATER OIL CO STACK

This mark was originally visited on 25 October, 2003.

County: FRESNO
State: CALIFORNIA

PUBLISHED DATA
Lat: 36° 46.564
Long: 120° 23.915
Alt: 0
Designation: MENDOTA TIDEWATER OIL C STK
Marker Type: NGS Benchmark
Setting: setting not listed - see description
Stability:

Documented History (by the NGS)
1/1/1944 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1944 (JCS) STATION IS LOCATED 1.8 MILES N OF THE TOWN OF MENDOTA, 190 FEET W OF CENTER LINE OF STATE HIGHWAY 33, AND ON TOP OF THE S END OF A LARGE PUMPING-STATION BUILDING OWNED BY THE TIDEWATER ASSOCIATED OIL COMPANY (IT IS CALLED THE ARBIOS PUMPING STATION). STACK IS ABOUT 80 FEET HIGH AND ITS CENTER WAS THE POINT OF INTERSECTION.


FOUND DATA
Lat: 36° 46.573
Long: 120° 23.882
Alt: NA

Revisited the Mendota Tidewater Oil Company Stack, 22 November 2008. Found generally as described and in fair condition. Go to description is adequate. The stack and adjacent buildings are no longer in use. The adjacent tanks have been demolished and portions of the building have been removed.

Published NAD83 coordinates are located about 170 feet west-southwest of the occupied WGS84 coordinates. The site is gated and locked and the new coordinates were taken from outside the fence. WGS84 coordinates for the mark found by 2 minute occupation with 8 strong satellites and 2 WAAS satellites.

The view westerly. The described stack is the nearest of the two stacks at the end of the building.


Site coordinates.


View southwesterly. The remaining tank has been removed.


View southwesterly. The remaining tank has been removed.

GU3418 - MOWRY

This mark was originally visited on 19 July, 2004.

County: FRESNO
State: CALIFORNIA

PUBLISHED DATA
Lat: 36° 44.055
Long: 120° 17.166
Alt: 171
Designation: MOWRY
Marker Type: NGS Benchmark
Setting: setting not listed - see description
Stability:

Documented History (by the NGS)
1/1/1962 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1962 (JCC) THE STATION IS LOCATED 5-1/2 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF MENDOTA, 6-1/2 MILES NORTH-NORTHWEST OF TRANQUILLITY AND 12-1/2 MILES WEST OF KERMAN. IT IS LOCATED ALONG THE SOUTH SIDE OF STATE HIGHWAY 180 AND ON HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY. TO REACH FROM THE POST OFFICE IN MENDOTA GO SOUTHERLY ON STATE HIGHWAY 180 FOR 1.95 MILES TO WHERE THE HIGHWAY TURNS LEFT EAST. FOLLOW THE HIGHWAY EAST FOR 2.6 MILES TO SAN MATEO AVENUE ON THE LEFT. CONTINUE EAST ON THE HIGHWAY FOR 0.7 MILE TO TT 2JD (USGS) ON THE RIGHT. CONTINUE EAST ON THE HIGHWAY FOR 0.9 MILE TO THE STATION ON THE RIGHT. STATION MARK IS A STANDARD DISK, STAMPED MOWRY 1962, SET IN AN 11 INCH SQUARE CONCRETE POST PROJECTING 2 INCHES. IT IS 57 FEET SOUTH OF THE CENTERLINE OF STATE HIGHWAY 180, 87.5 FEET SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF TELEPHONE POLE NUMBER 2515, 3.6 FEET EAST OF A WITNESS POST AND 2.8 FEET NORTH OF AN EAST-WEST FENCE. REFERENCE MARK 1 IS A STANDARD DISK, STAMPED MOWRY NO 1 1962, SET IN AN 11 INCH SQUARE CONCRETE POST PROJECTING 4 INCHES. IT IS 86.5 FEET SOUTH OF THE CENTERLINE OF STATE HIGHWAY 180, 1.4 FEET NORTH OF THE FENCE, 54 FEET EAST OF THE WITNESS POST AND ABOUT 2 FEET LOWER THAN THE STATION. REFERENCE MARK 2 IS A STANDARD DISK, STAMPED MOWERY NO 2 1962, SET IN AN 11 INCH SQUARE CONCRETE POST PROJECTING 1 INCH. IT IS 1 FOOT SOUTH OF AN EAST-WEST FENCE, 29 FEET NORTH OF THE CENTERLINE OF STATE HIGHWAY 180, 19.5 FEET EAST OF THE TELEPHONE POLE AND ABOUT THE SAME ELEVATION AS THE STATION. TT 2JD (USGS) IS A UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY DISK, STAMPED TT 2JD 1955, CEMENTED IN A DRILL HOLE IN THE SOUTHEAST ABUTMENT OF BRIDGE NUMBER 4246. IT IS 14 FEET SOUTH OF THE CENTERLINE OF STATE HIGHWAY 180 AND ABOUT 6 INCHES HIGHER THE HIGHWAY.

1/1/1964 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1964 (GCR) THIS STATION RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED. THE STATION AND BOTH REFERENCE MARKS WERE FOUND IN GOOD CONDITION. THE 1962 DESCRIPTION WAS NOT AVAILABLE ON THE DATE OF RECOVERY AND THE AZIMUTH MARK WAS NOT SEARCHED FOR.

1/1/1972 by NGS (MONUMENTED)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1972 (HF) STATION WAS RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED. STATION SURFACE MARK - A BRASS TABLET STAMPED MOWRY 1962 SET IN A 12 IN X 12 IN CONCRETE POST UP 2 IN. TO REACH DESCRIPTION IS ADEQUATE. AZIMUTH MARK - FOUND USGS SURVEY DISC STAMPED TT2JD 1955. TO REACH DESCRIPTION IS ADEQUATE. R.M. 1 - FOUND A BRASS TABLET STAMPED MOWRY NO. 1 1962 SET IN A 12 IN X 12 IN CONCRETE POST UP 2 IN. R.M. 2 - FOUND A BRASS TABLET STAMPED MOWRY NO. 2 1962 SET IN A 12 IN X 12 IN CONCRETE POST FLUSH WITH THE GROUND. AIRLINE DISTANCE AND DIRECTION FROM NEAREST TOWN--MENDOTA


FOUND DATA
Lat: 36° 44.056
Long: 120° 17.172
Alt: 122

Revisited USC&GS mark stamped 'MOWRY - 1962' at 12:40, 22 November 2008. Found as described and in good condition. Go to description is adequate.

Published NAD83 coordinates are located about 30 feet east of the found WGS84 coordinates. WGS84 coordinates for the mark found by 3 minute occupation with 8 strong satellites and 2 WAAS satellites.

Benchmark detail.


Benchmark coordinates.


Benchmark setting and witness post. View southwesterly.


The view westerly along State Route 180.


The view easterly along State Route 180.


The view southeasterly onto the Ecological Reserve.


The view southwesterly onto the Ecological Reserve.


Ecological Reserve sign on the fence behind the mark.

2008-11-15

GT0634 - W 827

County: TULARE
State: CALIFORNIA

PUBLISHED DATA
Lat: 36° 09.217
Long: 119° 19.867
Alt: 267.8
Designation: W 827
Marker Type: bench mark disk
Setting: massive structures
Stability: Probably hold position/elevation well.

Documented History (by the NGS)
1/1/1947 by CGS (MONUMENTED)

1/1/1954 by NGS (GOOD)
DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1954 4.2 MI SE FROM TULARE. 3.9 MILES SOUTH ALONG THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY RAILROAD FROM THE STATION AT TULARE, THENCE 0.3 MILE EAST ALONG AVENUE 200 (26 E), AT THE FARM AIR COMPANY AIRPORT (FORMERLY TULARE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT), AT THE HANGAR, IN THE TOP AND NEAR THE WEST END OF THE CONCRETE BASE FOR THE HANGAR -DOOR STEEL SLIDE CHANNEL, 13.1 FEET EAST OF THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE HANGAR, AND 1.2 FEET EAST OF THE WEST SIDE OF THE DOOR JAM. NOTE-- LOCATED IN THE SOUTHWEST QUARTER OF SECTION 25, T 20 S, R 24 E.

1/1/1975 by NGS (GOOD)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1975 RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.


FOUND DATA
Lat: 36° 09.233
Long: 119° 19.882
Alt: 226

I originally found GT0634 on November 22, 2003.

Found it at 16:00, 15 November 2008 as described and in good condition. The hangar is no longer in use, but remains as a prominent piece of the landscape and area history.

Published NAD83 coordinates were located about 122 feet south-southeasterly of the found 2008 WGS84 coordinates. 2003 WGS84 coordinates are located about 47 feet northeasterly of the found 2008 WGS84 coordinates. 2008 WGS84 coordinates for the mark found by 2.5 minute occupation with 5 strong satellites and 1 WAAS satellite. (Proximity to the hangar made satellite lock difficult.)

Benchmark detail.


The benchmark and the GPSr.


Benchmark coordinates.


The Mefford Air Field hangar.


The Veteran's Memorial B17 Flying Fortress and F4 Phantom as seen from the hangar.

JS4124 - SACRAMENTO STATE CAPITOL DOME

County: SACRAMENTO
State: CALIFORNIA

PUBLISHED DATA
Lat: 38° 34.599
Long: 121° 29.619
Alt: 0
Designation: SACRAMENTO STATE CAPITOL DOME
Marker Type: NGS Benchmark
Setting: setting not listed - see description
Stability:

Documented History (by the NGS)
Unknown by (MONUMENTED)

1/1/1954 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1954 (WTJ) THE GOLD DOME OF THE MAIN BUILDING OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE CAPITOL. LOCATED AT ABOUT THE CENTER OF SACRAMENTO.

1/1/1966 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1966 (JJC) THE INTERSECTION STATION WAS RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED BY WTJ IN 1954.

1/1/1970 by NGS (MONUMENTED)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1970 (LS) THE STATION WAS RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION AND IS THE CENTER OF THE GOLD BALL ON THE TOP OF THE CUPOLA ABOVE THE DOME OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING IN SACRAMENTO, IN THE WEST CENTRAL SECTION OF CAPITOL PARK, BETWEEN 9TH, 15TH, L AND N STREETS.


FOUND DATA
Lat: NA
Long: NA
Alt: NA

I "found" this one on a brief visit to the State Capitol on a motorcycle run for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. It's hard to miss. Because I was there for a reason other than benchmarking, I didn't get many pictures or new coordinates. I'll have to revisit the area.

The California State Capitol Building cupola & spire. (Flag at half mast.)


The California State Capitol Building cupola & spire. (Flag at half mast.)


Sculpture on top of the Capitol Building.


Sculpture on top of the Capitol Building.


Kewaneh, Kempco, Fireball, & Laterob in front of the State Capitol Building.

2008-10-25

The Center of California

A family trip to the "Center of California" found this mark placed by the North Fork Chamber of Commerce and the School of Geomatics Engineering and Land Surveying at California State University, Fresno.

From the North Fork Chamber of Commerce website Historical Page:

Once upon a time... during the gold rush era, North Fork, California was known for its logging. But as time marched on, the town became legendary as the "exact center of California.

North Fork did not become an overnight sensation, however. In 1972 the Madera Board of Supervisors, after hearing a rumor the Center of California was close to Madera, decided to locate the Center. Their grand plan consisted of building a monument to which visitors from far-away places could travel and admire.

But the city of Madera was disappointed after the survey was completed and the Center was found to be close to North Fork, some 40 miles east of Madera. A metal stake was placed in the ground, but, unfortunately, the only visitors to the spot were local townspeople. Soon, the Center was forgotten and the stake was inadvertently destroyed.

Through the years, North Fork townspeople would ask each other, "where is the Center?" But the passage of time has a way of dulling the memory. Soon, no one could remember.

In 1994 the North Fork History Group decided to do something positive about the Center. A County Sheriff Search & Rescue Officer brought his Magellan Global Positioning unit to the estimated area, however the equipment was not sophisticated enough to calculate the exact spot. Then the U.S. Forest Service arrived with their GPS equipment which uses mapping satellites to determine ground locations. They actually calculated to within a meter of the final calculations. Someone suggested contacting the Fresno State University Engineering & Surveying Department as they should have the most modern equipment available. CSUF was definitely interested in helping re-establish the site.

In May 1994, the work began. Old blaze marks were uncovered. CSUF students went back to Cal State Fresno to enter all the information into their computers while North Fork's townspeople anxiously waited ... and waited. There had been an equipment failure. More data was required. The waiting game continued as students graduated and summer vacation dispersed those involved.

Unexpectedly, Huell Howser of the PBS series, California's Gold appeared on the scene contacting residents of North Fork ... "why were there 3 different sites claiming to be THE Center of California?" Huell said he would like to come to North Fork in May 1995 to do a TV story about the "real" Center. The people of North Fork knew it was time for ACTION!

Another call to CSU Fresno brought new results! A graduating student, Leonard Gabrielson, materialized to complete the crucial computer calculations as his senior thesis. Huell called to confirm the taping date. The townspeople panicked! They were still awaiting the final word from Gabrielson as to the exact point. Fortunately, the very night before Huell arrived, the townspeople were called by CSUF with good news: the Center had been re-established by Gabrielson. Using their most recent technology he was able to pinpoint the "exact" Center. Everyone else involved, including the U.S. Geological Survey, verified the calculations. The show could go on! Huell & crew arrived and townspeople, as well as members from the various organizations involved in the search, were interviewed.

And so, the story was taped and everyone lived happily ever after...

Except, the other areas claiming to be the Center of California! One was at South Avenue 11 and Highway 99, a pine tree and palm tree, denoted equal distance of north and south on Highway 99. Bob Thomason of CalTrans, whose major efforts saved the trees from destruction, stated the person who originally planted the trees was unknown even though a thorough search had been made.

Another site was claimed by the town of O'Neals (12 miles south of North Fork). People there tell of old-timers who remember seeing a marker saying "Center of California" in a field ... but none could remember where.

For some, the mystery lives on. For the townspeople of North Fork, they proudly state that a few miles from the center of town, is the "exact center" of California.

A NOTE OF INTEREST A point was made by USGS's Alan Mikuni, that back in 1930 when technology was not as advanced as the present, someone had determined the Center by taking a cut-out of California and placing a point on the cut-out where it would maintain a balance. Amazingly, this point turned out to be very close to the re-established current Center!


The official Station stamped "CAL CENTER, 1996".


The station setting in a compass rose.


Quick GPSr coordinates.


Plaque stating the exact calculated coordinates.


The setting and plaque as seen from the west.


The setting and plaque as seen from the south.


The setting and plaque as seen from the south.


Looking up to the mark from the northerly staircase.


Looking up to the mark from the southerly staircase.

2008-10-04

U.S. Bureau of Public Roads Benchmark

Latitude: 37°22.786' N
Longitude: 119°23.740' W

Elevation: 4549'

I found this mark along the Sierra Scenic Byway. It was indentified as a U.S.Bureau of Public Roads mark, stamped with a date of "1952". Additional stamping included a project station of "636+01.52", a benchmark elevation of "4597.35", and "21.13", possibly a mile mark.

I had never seen a mark placed by the U.S.Bureau of Public Roads, let alone heard of them. A quick internet search found the following:
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was created on October 15, 1966, however it has several predecessor organizations and a complicated history. The first predecessor was the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) founded on in 1893. In 1905 that organization's name was changed to the Office of Public Roads (OPR), and it became a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. The name was changed to Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) in 1915. In 1939 the name was changed to Public Roads Administration (PRA) and it was shifted to the Federal Works Agency (FWA). With the abolition of the FWA in 1949, its name was changed back to BPR and it was shifted to the Department of Commerce. In 1967 the BPR was transferred to the newly created FHWA, and was one of three original bureaus along with the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety and the National Highway Safety Bureau (now known as NHTSA).


Benchmark detail.


Benchmark coordinates.


Benchmark setting.


The view southerly, down the road.


View of the mark and its setting under the sign from the south.


The view northerly, up the road.