The District of Columbia is a diamond-shaped square, ten miles on a side. In 1791-92 Andrew Ellicott, with Benjamin Banneker and colleagues, slashed through the wilderness, surveyed the bounds of the Federal City, and placed marker stones every mile along the edge. Many of these forty historic stones yet survive. My self-imposed quixotic mission: visit them, photograph them, and record their GPS coordinates. See DC Boundary Stones for a Google Map of the results. (The associated XML file contains the latitude and longitude information which generates that map.) Click on a thumbnail for a higher-resolution photo; click on the link at the end of a caption to see a guide map to that location.

DC boundary stone NORTH - click for larger imageThis stone marks the original northernmost point of the District of Columbia. It resides just south of East-West Highway, half a block west of 16th Street. [1]Northeast Stone 1 has been removed; its former location is indicated by this plaque embedded in the sidewalk in front of a small store near downtown Silver Spring. [2]DC boundary stone NE1 - click for larger ima
DC boundary stone NE2 - click for larger imaIn Takoma Park, Northeast Stone 2 stands by a driveway on Maple Avenue just north of Carroll Street. [3]Just south of New Hampshire Avenue, Northeast Stone 3 is in sad condition. The protective fencework around it has been mutilated, perhaps by trucks backing into it from the adjacent parking lot. The marker itself is surrounded with trash. [4]DC boundary stone NE3 - click for larger ima
DC boundary stone NE4 - click for larger imaNortheast Stone 4 is found near a bus stop in the side yard of a house at the corner of Sargent Road and Eastern Avenue. [5]The engraved lettering of Northeast Stone 5 has been carefully blackened in to make it more readable; perhaps it has also been re-engraved. The stone rests in the front yard of a home at 4609 Eastern Avenue. [6]DC boundary stone NE5 - click for larger ima
DC boundary stone NE6 - click for larger imaNortheast Stone 6 is protected by an ivy-clad fence in the front yard of a home on the corner of 34th Street and Eastern Avenue. [7]Northwest Stone 9 is nestled beside a driveway leading down from Oregon Avenue to a home at the edge of Rock Creek Park. [8]DC boundary stone NW9 - click for larger ima
DC boundary stone NW8 - click for larger imaNorthwest Stone 8 is situated in the middle of a small circular garden in the front yard of 6422 Western Avenue. [9]Northwest Stone 7 is in the front yard of a private residence at the corner of Cedar Parkway and Western Avenue. It bears a descriptive plaque placed by the DAR. [10]DC boundary stone NW7 - click for larger ima

(Note that my GPS coordinates may be in error by several meters. For excellent information on the stones see Mark Kennedy's site http://www.boundarystones.org/ . Many thanks to comrade Jimmy H. for geo-historical reference materials and encouragement; cf. Boundaries of the United States and the Several States, US Geological Survey Professional Paper 909 by Franklin K. Van Zandt (1976); Washington Post article "Lesser-Known Monuments Map Out the Original D.C." by Steve Twomey (9 Oct 1990); Tom Howder's travel adventure pages; the Daughters of the American Revolution's DC boundary stone page and Boundary Stone Locations page; Mike Pegg's blog "Google Maps Mania" [11] in "Sunday Google Maps Assortment" [12](27 Nov 2005); my collection of waypoints for DC Metro Area Trails; and GoogleMapExperiments (11 Sep 2005), Rock Creek Trail Miles 0 to 4 (26 Sep 2005), ...)

TopicScience - TopicPersonalHistory - TopicSociety - 2005-11-20

(correlates: GoogleMapExperiments, GibbonChapter10, DestinationMind, ...)

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