Big Timbers History Corner #16 – Elevation Marker

One of the best things about investigating history is how it can lead you to amazing discoveries. This bronze disk tells Lamar’s elevation, and warns people about messing with it, at the risk of a hefty fine ($250 would buy you one heck of a nice car in 1933!). But there’s more to the story!

In researching the disk’s origins, I learned that the Geodetic Survey (under various names) is one of the oldest Federal agencies, started by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807! It is estimated there have been over one million markers of this type placed by surveyors and engineers all over the US. They are the basis for map-making and establishment of legal boundaries. There is a government database online that holds all the details of all the assorted markers, as well as the notes from the surveyors who check on them every few decades.

You can spend hours poring over the old place names and re-visit notes. It took a little working out, but eventually I discovered our Lamar marker was originally placed in the cornerstone of the Armory that stood at the southeast corner of Fifth and Elm. Happily, it was preserved when the building was torn down.

Speaking of knowing where you are, Big Timbers Museum keeps important details from being lost in time. Admission is only $3 for individuals, or $2 each for groups of 10 or more. $5 lets you bring the whole family for a fun learning experience that also helps preserve our Prowers County heritage for future generations. An even better deal is a membership, $10 for an individual and $15 for a family. Open 10 am to 5 pm Tues-Sat. Call 336-2472 for more details.

Big Timbers History Corner is brought to you by Susan Crites

Filed Under: EducationFeaturedHistoryLamar


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.