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The boundary stones of Washington DC.
May 9, 2007 10:48 AM   Subscribe

The boundary stones of Washington DC.
posted by Wolfdog (52 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
The four corners of the earth.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:49 AM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's so awesome; I had no idea these were there. I might go try to check one or two out this weekend.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:54 AM on May 9, 2007


Nice. Love the four corners sculpture idea.
posted by billysumday at 10:54 AM on May 9, 2007


Second XQUZYPHYR. And someone should do a little more to, y'know make sure they aren't all crapped on.
posted by indiebass at 10:55 AM on May 9, 2007


This is looking like a good day on metafilter. Cool post.
posted by serazin at 11:03 AM on May 9, 2007


[this is good]
posted by Rumple at 11:04 AM on May 9, 2007


Oh, that's cool as hell. I know what I'm doing next time I visit D.C.!
posted by brundlefly at 11:13 AM on May 9, 2007


flicker page. Interesting most of them are in caged, no crapping allowed.
posted by orgvol at 11:13 AM on May 9, 2007


Very cool! I grew up in DC, and have probably walked by one of the markers literally thousands of times on the way to the Metro station closest to the house where I lived. Never saw it.
posted by mzurer at 11:14 AM on May 9, 2007


Nice. Who put that site together?

I can't help grimace at the art-speak in the four corners project description:

Its process of construction and communication will be a cultural/geographic/spiritual/esthetic metaphor.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:23 AM on May 9, 2007




Thanks for finding this!
posted by zerobyproxy at 11:31 AM on May 9, 2007


Earth sandwhich
posted by gwint at 11:31 AM on May 9, 2007


I used to be involved in an online virtual community building environment called Active Worlds. When it started in the mid 90s, the idea was to create a virtual world where people would wanna hang around. However, vandalism quickly spread and effectively ruined any hope for that. Attempts were made to renovate and preserve "Ground Zero" in the central location of the primary virtual world. The ActiveWorlds Historical Society cropped up for just that purpose. People documented the areas and took pics of vandalism and decisions were made whether or not to remove some items and whatnot. Less than five years after the GZ began, and less than half that time after preservation attempts were endeavored, the project became rather pointless, because technology made most of the original ground zero useless. Some items were no longer the same size or look, and others just didn't exist anymore. I don't know now if anyone still tries to preserve anything in that virtual world.

Seeing how stone markers in the nation's capitol couldn't survive 200 years, just reminds me of the futility and frustration that myself and some friends experienced less than a decade ago.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:34 AM on May 9, 2007


Catalogue of entrances to Hell in and around the UK
posted by gwint at 11:30 AM on May 9


GREAT site. Someone please give this its own FPP! I can't. 24 hour limit and all that. ]:
posted by serazin at 11:47 AM on May 9, 2007


This is neat. I know several of these from growing up in DC. I never thought to go looking for more, but I loved to see them when I saw them. I guess I kind of figured that most of them were long gone and that the ones I knew had just somehow avoided the axe.
posted by OmieWise at 11:48 AM on May 9, 2007


Not far from DC, over on the Eastern Shore you can find the boundry stones for the Mason-Dixon line. Each stone was individually shipped from England and the 5-mile markers were carved with the seal of Lords Calvert and Penn.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:48 AM on May 9, 2007


"Each stone was individually shipped from England.."

They couldn't find stones over here? =)
posted by ZachsMind at 12:03 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


See also: The Washington, DC Zero Stone, originally designed to be the exact point of reference all other "Washington DC: X miles" pointers referred to.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:12 PM on May 9, 2007


This is just cool as hell, thanks for posting it.
posted by marxchivist at 12:38 PM on May 9, 2007


That's very cool. I also thought about the Boundary stones along the Delaware border, which is what Pollomacho refers to above. Some were set prior to Mason and Dixon's work. There's a fairly in-depth history published some years ago by the Delaware Geological Survey. The locations of these are one of the data sets you can view using the "Map Lab" of the Delaware DataMIL. (Quasi-self-link, sorry)
posted by mmahaffie at 12:48 PM on May 9, 2007


My Sherlockian deductive reasoning tells me this marker is located near a parking lot, and that a few years ago a pick up truck parked itself next to this marker, and the pickup truck was being driven by a drunk redneck who accidently shifted in reverse before driving out of the parking lot. It's a gift.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:53 PM on May 9, 2007


Nice post, thanks!
posted by kdar at 1:02 PM on May 9, 2007


Interesting. I spent 6 months living in spitting distance of two of the stones and never realized. Of course, at that point I was spending most of my energy checking out the museums and crashing G.U. parties, so it's understandable that Historical Landmarks of Great Interest might have slipped my mind.

I miss D.C.
posted by lekvar at 1:05 PM on May 9, 2007


Not too many rednecks in pickups in the Chillum area Zach, unless there is something you know that you aren't telling us...

Come on back lekvar, we're still here and hey, much of the violent crimes have been pushed on out to Prince George's County!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:33 PM on May 9, 2007


This is cool, I never knew those stones were there! Benjamin Banneker is one of my favorite historic Marylanders!
posted by sarahnade at 1:45 PM on May 9, 2007


"Each stone was individually shipped from England.."

ZachsMind: They couldn't find stones over here? =)


Nope, none that met the original design requirements.
posted by itchylick at 1:52 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Paging user #26222.
posted by Eideteker at 2:39 PM on May 9, 2007


I can't stand how great this is. This is so great.
posted by jessamyn at 2:55 PM on May 9, 2007


I've often passed one of these markers, just off Columbia Pike in Arlington. It's a crumbly rock in a metal cage. I had no idea it was part of a bigger assemblage. Thanks for clearing up this minor local mystery.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:06 PM on May 9, 2007


Very cool, but those steel cages look horrible.
posted by RMD at 3:08 PM on May 9, 2007


Wow, that is absolutely fantastic. I had lived in DC from 1995-99 and loved exploring the city, the Mall, Rock Creek Park, all the little public parks and monuments that dotted the city. This post really makes me "homesick." Thanks!
posted by slogger at 3:20 PM on May 9, 2007


This is cool (imagines trimming the weeds around monument during weekly yardening, considering whether the cage needs a new coat of Rust-Oleum this year).

This is sad.

This is a great post.
posted by hangashore at 3:54 PM on May 9, 2007


Interesting! I have been playing around with ways to combine local history and internet mapping and this gives me ideas.
posted by LarryC at 3:56 PM on May 9, 2007


Bravo!
posted by Megafly at 4:23 PM on May 9, 2007


What a great post, wolfdog. Very cool.
posted by annieb at 4:49 PM on May 9, 2007


Goddamn Freemasons.
posted by zardoz at 5:20 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


way, way cool. Thanks.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:39 PM on May 9, 2007


Sweeeet! The next friends of mine from out of town get to go boundary-stone hunting with me.
posted by Tehanu at 7:03 PM on May 9, 2007


ahh, this brings back memories of climbing out on the seawall at Jones Point to find the south boundary stone. It's not easy to find or to get to.
posted by smoothvirus at 7:05 PM on May 9, 2007


Atlanta has a stone marking it's original center, called the Zero Milepost. It marked the terminus of the railroads. The original city limit was a circle with a one mile radius starting from there.
posted by bitslayer at 7:58 PM on May 9, 2007


Catalogue of entrances to Hell in and around the UK
posted by gwint at 11:30 AM on May 9

GREAT site. Someone please give this its own FPP!


Been done. It's kind of an old-school classic.
posted by mediareport at 9:05 PM on May 9, 2007


My Sherlockian deductive reasoning tells me this marker is located near a parking lot, and that a few years ago a pick up truck parked itself next to this marker, and the pickup truck was being driven by a drunk redneck who accidently shifted in reverse before driving out of the parking lot. It's a gift.

Did you ever get your truck fixed?
posted by stavrogin at 10:27 PM on May 9, 2007


Wonderful, thanks Wolfdog!
posted by carter at 6:43 AM on May 10, 2007


And thanks to all the other contributors too.
posted by carter at 6:43 AM on May 10, 2007


Nice, thanks!
posted by spinturtle at 9:17 AM on May 10, 2007


There's a small granite-looking stone set into the brick sidewalk surrounding Lincoln Park in DC. I just used gmap pedometer to find that it's precisely one mile from the front steps of the Capitol. Anyone know anything about that?
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:18 AM on May 10, 2007


Who put that site together?

A good friend of mine. He's thinking about trying to pass legislation to protect the stones.
posted by sudama at 1:39 PM on May 10, 2007


Legislation to protect stones? A few generations too late, don't you think?
posted by ZachsMind at 3:01 PM on May 10, 2007


Just a quick update: I visited NE5 last night (despite the protestations of my wife, "why are we walking this way... Eastern Ave. is so busy..."). The fence appears to have a fresh coat of white paint and the stone appears just as it does in the photo. It was awesome. If you look at the linked street map at full zoom and move Northwest of the pointer past the shadow of the tree and triangulate due NE of the grey parked car you can see a faint square in the yard of the smaller house with the grey roof. I can confirm that square is the stone and the fence around it.

God, I'm a nerd.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:37 AM on May 11, 2007


Oh, will visit NE6 over the weekend and report. Can hopefully hit 3 and 4 soon as well.

NE5 it turns out is on the way I take to drive to my brother's house. I had never noticed it!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:43 AM on May 11, 2007


Ah, that's awesome, Pollomacho. Thanks for the report. Too cool.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:06 AM on May 11, 2007


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