JF Ptak Science Books Post 2634
Back when I had an open shop I would occasionally have surveyor customers who would come in after hauling themselves back to our civilization, telling stories of doing some re-survey of some piece of land in the out-yonder and finding old heart of pine stakes from a 19th c survey still in place and just very slightly off from where the modern surveying tools would place them. These guys held these earlier surveyors in high regard, as they did hard work and did it very well, using relatively rudimentary tools (optics, chains, measures) in sometimes very difficult conditions and doing a splendid job of it.
These stories came to mind just this afternoon again while cataloging an 1842 manuscript map made by Britton Hood, Jr., who was the son of a surveyor Hood Sr. who worked through the late 18th c and into the middle 19th. The family was in Wayne County, and it looks as though the son stayed their, at least according to a hint or two on this map. Although the location is not identified the major feature is, and the "Cabin Branch" of the map may be the "Cabin Branch" creek that is south-central Wayne County, south of Goldsboro.
The very attractive part of this map of course are the landmarks used by the surveyor, and as is very often in these cases, the "landmarks" tend to be simple trees and stumps and such. Of course is you identify a starting place and base all of the landmarks upon that, then virtually anything can be used, so long as it is referenced to something.
This leads to the found-poetry of the Hood map:
Some of the then-essential and now-delightful boundary markers for Hood's 770-acre survey include:
- Maple at the fork of the branch
- stake at the turn of the branch
- pine at the west edge of the swamp
- large cypress at the edge of the swamp
- through the meander of the Rockish (?) Creek
- Lightwood stump
- small pine
- large dead pine
- pine at the prong of the NW branch
- and of course a pine, pine, and small pine, among other things.
The map in full (the original measuring 6x7"):