Land Cruising - Prospecting:
Introduction To Land Cruising
Land Cruising And Prospecting
Examining And Locating
Points For Homesteaders
Prospecting For Gold, Etc.
How To Locate A Claim
Read More Articles About: Land Cruising - Prospecting
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
CORNER STONES. Wherever it is deemed best to use stones for boundaries instead of posts, surveyors or cruisers may at any corner insert edgewise in the ground to the depth of 7 or 8 inches a stone, the number of cubic inches in which shall not be less than the number contained in a stone 14 inches long and 12 inches wide, 3 inches thick, equal to about 504 cubic inches, the edges of which must set north and south, on north and south lines and east and west, on east and west lines. The dimensions of each stone, also the kind of stone to be given in the field notes.
MARKING CORNER STONES. Stones at township corners common to four townships must have six notches cut with a pick or chisel on each edge or side toward the cardinal points and where used as section corners on the range or township lines or as section corners. In the interior of a township they will also be notched to correspond with the direction given for notching posts similarly situated. Posts or stones at township corners on the base and standard lines and which are common to two townships on the north side thereof, will have six notches on each of the west, north and east edges and where such stones or posts are set for corners to two town-ships south of the base line, six notches will be cut on each of the west, south and east edges.
Stones used for quarter section corners will have simply 1/4 cut on them, on the west side on north and south lines and on the north side for east and west lines.
MOUNDS. Where bearing trees are not found mounds of earth or stone are to be raised around the posts on which the corners are to be marked in the manner aforesaid. Wherever a mound of earth is adopted the same will present a conical shape. Prior to piling up the earth to construct a mound, there is to be dug a spadeful or two of earth from the corner and in the cavity so formed is to be deposited a marked stone or a portion of charcoal, the quantity to be noted in the field book. In lieu of stone or charcoal, a charred stake is to be driven twelve inches down into such center point.
Either of these will be a witness for the future and which ever is done, the fact must be noted in the field notes. When the mounds are made of earth the spot from which the earth is taken is called the pit, the center of which ought to be at a uniform distance and in a uniform direction from the center of the mound. There is to be a pit on each side of every mound.
At meander corners the pit is to be directly on the line 8 links (about 5 1/2 feet) further from the water than the mound. Whenever it is necessary to deviate from this rule in regard to pits it must be so stated in the field notes. Long life is what is desired in a mound and in making it of light soil, make allowance for settling and make the base larger and in doing this keep the township mounds larger than the section mounds and the section mounds larger than the quarter section mounds. Press or tramp down the earth and cover with sod, grass up, when sod can be had and never mix sod with the dirt for the sod will rot and make the mound porous and spoil it.
POSTS IN MOUNDS must show above ground ten or twelve inches and be marked same as they would be for a corner without a mound.
WITNESS MOUNDS TO TOWNSHIP OR SECTION CORNERS. If a township or section corner in a situation where bearing or witness trees are not found in a reasonable distance and the corner should fall unfavorably to the erection of a mound, you will select in the immediate vicinity a suitable piece of ground for a "Witness" mound or corner and erect thereon a mound of earth in the same manner and conditioned in every respect with charcoal, stone or charred stick deposited as before, directed and measure and state in your field notes the distance and course, from the position of the true corner of the bearing or witness mound so placed and erected.
DOUBLE CORNERS. Double corners are to be nowhere except on the base and standard lines whereon are to appear both the corners-which mark the intersecting of the lines which close thereon and those from which the surveys start on the north. On these lines and at the time of running the same, the township, section and quarter section corners are to be planted and each of these is a corner common to two (whether township or section corners) on the north side of the line and must be so marked.
The corners that are established on the standard parallel at the time of running it are to be known as "Standard Corners" (see page 40 under "Guide Meridians") and in addition to all the ordinary marks as herein prescribed they will be marked with the letters S-C. Closing corners will be marked with the letters C-C in addition to the other marks. You will remember that the corners (whether township or section) which are common to two townships or two sections are not to be planted diagonally like those which are common to four, but with their flat sides facing the cardinal points and on which the marks and notches are made as usual. This, it will be perceived will serve to distinguish the standard parallels from all other lines.
The following instructions to Surveyors have been issued since June 1st, 1864, by the Interior Department and still hold good.
POSTS IN MOUNDS. All posts in mounds will hereafter be planted or driven into the ground twelve inches at the precise corner point and the charcoal marked stone or charred stake required will be deposited twelve inches below the surface and against the north side of the post when the surveyor is running north and against the west side When the surveyor is running west, etc.
TOWNSHIP MOUNDS. Mounds of this kind will be 5 feet in diameter at their base and 2 1/2 feet in perpendicular height. Posts in township mounds are therefore required to be 4 1/2 feet long so as to allow 12 inches to project above the mound. Mounds at section, quarter section and meander corners will be 4 1/2 feet in diameter at their base and 2 1/2 feet in perpendicular height, the post being 4 feet in length, leaving twelve inches to project above the mound.
PITS. These should be of uniform dimensions. The pits for a township mound will be 18 inches wide, two feet in length and at least 12 inches deep, located six feet from the 'posts. At all section corners the pits are 18 inches square and not less than 12 inches deep. At township corners common to four townships the pits will be dug on the lines and lengthwise to them. On base and standard lines where the corners are common to only two townships or sections three pits only will be dug two in line on either side of the post and one on the line north or south of the corner, as the case may be. By this means the standard and closing corners will be readily distinguished from each other.
NOTCHING SECTION CORNER POSTS. Posts Or stones at the corners of sections in the interior of townships will have as many notches on the south and east edges as there are miles from the south and east boundaries of the townships, instead of being notched on all four edges. (Bear in mind this is for the interior of townships).
MARKING CORNERS IN REGIONS REMOTE FROM TIMBER AND DESTITUTE OF STONE. By orders of the Interior Department of July 24th, 1873, surveys of such land are marked thus: In addition to the manner of establishing corners of Public Surveys by mounds of earth with deposits or material at the point of the corner, surveyors are required to drive in the center of one of the pits on each section of the township corner, sawed or when stakes not less than two inches square and two feet in length. These stakes to be marked in the manner heretofore prescribed for marking corner posts and to be, driven one foot in the ground at corners common to four town-ships. The stakes are to be driven in the pits east of the mound and at corners common to four sections. The stakes are to be driven in the pit southeast of the mound and at corners common to two townships or sections they are to be driven in the pit east of the corner. This requirement does not apply to quarter section corners.
BEARING TREES. Where a tree can be found not less than 2 1/2 inches in diameter for a bearing tree within 300 links of the corner, it should be preferred to the pit.
CHAPTER VI. MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION. MEANDERING NAVIGABLE STREAMS. Standing with the face looking down stream, the bank on the left hand is termed the left bank and on the right hand the right bank. The terms are used to distinguish the banks of a stream. Both banks of a navigable river are meandered by taking the course and distance of their windings. At these points where either the township or section lines intersect the banks of a navigable stream. posts, or where necessary, mounds of earth or stones are established, called "Meander Corners." Rivers are deemed navigable waters where they can be used as highways of commerce between states.
The right of a grantee of land bordering on a navigable river stops with the bank of a stream though he may construct landings or wharves. New states have the same rights and jurisdiction over navigable streams as the original states. The state has rights and sovereignty over ground that was part of the bed of a meandered, navigable stream at the time of her admission and the public land laws do not apply to it subsequently.
It will be seen by this that a trapper can hold his rights on any navigable stream between the banks and in other cases of non-navigable streams the state controls from bank to bank and not the abutting land owner. In states where there are game laws, fur, fin and feather be-long to the state, no matter how much the farmer "lows you have no right than" If your traps are in the water no one can molest them but a state officer after due process of law. You can even drive stakes across a stream, setting traps at openings and tell the abutting land owner to go to , if you can get to them by boat, and if he molests them, get a warrant out for him as you have as much right between the banks as he or any one else has.
HOW TO SUBDIVIDE SECTIONS. Th, course to be pursued in the subdivision of sections is to run straight lines from the established quarter section corners, (U. S. Surveys) to the opposite corresponding corners and the point of inter-section of lines so run will be the common corner to the several quarter sections, or, in other words the legal center of the section. In the subdivision of fractional sections where no opposite corresponding corners have been or can be fixed the subdivision lines should be ascertained by running from the established corners due north, south, east and west lines, as the case may be, to the water course, Indian boundary line or any other external boundary of such fractional section.
The law presupposes the section lines surveyed and marked in the field by the U. S. surveyors to be due north and south, east and west lines but in actual experience this is not the case. In order to carry out the spirit of the law it will be necessary in running sub-divisional lines through fractional sections to adopt the mean course where the section lines are not due lines or to run the subdivision line parallel to the section line where there is no opposite section line upon the lines closing on the north and west boundaries of a township.
The quarter section corners are established by the U. S. surveyor at precisely 40 chains to the north or west of the last interior section corner and the excess or the deficiency of the measurement is thrown on the outer tier of lots as per act of Congress May 10th, 1800. In this subdivision of quarter sections the quarter section corners are to be placed at points equidistant between the section and quarter section corners and between the quarter corners and the common center of the section, except on the last half mile of the lines closing on the north or west boundaries of the township where they should be placed 20 chains (original measurement) to the north or west of the quarter section corner.
The subdivision lines of fractional quarter sections should be run from points on the section lines intermediate between the section and quarter section corners due north, south, east or west to the lake watercourse or reservation which renders such tracts fractional when there are double sets of section corners on township and range lines.* The quarter corners for the sections south and east of the lines are not established in the field by the U. S. surveyors, but in the subdividing of such sections said quarter corners should be so placed as to suit the calculations of the areas of the quarter sections ad-joining the township boundaries as expressed on the official plat, adopting a proportional measurement where the present measurement of the north or west boundaries of the section differs from the original measurement.
If the cruiser is called upon to restore lost or obliterated corners it is well for him to know that Uncle Sam has his rules for that as well as for new work and here is the way he will have to proceed to restore a township corner common to four. townships usually two cases will be found. First. Where the. position of the original township corner has been made to depend upon measurements on two lines at right angles to each other. Second. Where the original corner has been located by measurements on one line only. In the first case a line will first be run correcting the nearest identified original corners on the meridian township lines north and south of the missing corner and a temporary corner will be placed at the proper distance. This will determine the corner in a north and south direction only.
Next find the nearest original corners on the latitudinal (N & S) township lines and correct them and place another temporary corner as you did on your meridian line and independent. of it. Then, through your first temporary corner run a line north or south as the case demands and where the lines cross or intersect will be the position of the township corner which you may now permanently establish.
To restore a lost corner established on one line, for instance, a guide meridian, this will be done by proportionate measurement. By proportionate measurement is measurement having the same ratio to that recorded in the original field notes (which always have with you) , as the length of a chain used in the new measurement has to be the length of a chain used in the old or original survey, assuming that both old and new measurements have been correctly made.
In doing this work or new work the cruiser should have a good compass with sights at least six inches apart. A common pocket compass is useless for this kind of work not but what they are all right for what they are intended for, i. e., to find your way out of the woods, but they are not intended to run long accurate lines with, neither can you do so with them.
It is well for the cruiser to know the law and penalties for destroying corner monuments, etc.
Chapter 398.29 U. S. Statutes, page 343; approved June 10th, 1896, That hereafter it shall be unlawful for any person to destroy, deface, change or remove to another place any section corner, quarter section corner, or meander post or any government line of survey, or to cut down any witness tree or any tree blazed to make the line of a government survey, or to deface, change or remove any monument or bench mark of any government survey and any person who shall offend against any of the provisions of this paragraph will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction in any court shall be fined not to exceed $250.00 and be imprisoned not more than one hundred days. All fines occurring to be paid into the U. S. treasury and the informer in each conviction shall be paid $25.00.
Some things that the hunter and trapper should remember in looking up land :
Don't buy railroad land and speculator's land, when there is lots of government land, if you only wish to "cruise it out."
That north of 45 degrees north latitude it is no good for corn.
That wheat, oats, barley, flax do better north of 45 degrees..
That it is too cold for stock north of 45 degrees, but if you are in a good grass country cattle and horses will pay, but must be fed over winter.
That there is more money in a good cranberry marsh and fur than most people think.
That the railroad will eat up your profits if you aren't careful and the commission men take what is left. Keep away from commission men if you can.
In states bordering on Canada trapping can begin about November 1. Skunk and marten are the first to get prime.
That west of the Missouri river you must Irrigate as the rainfall is too light no matter what the land sharps tell you, but it is wet enough on the Pacific side of the Cascade range of mountains.
That it is not good policy to take any man's word about land see it for yourself.
When "cruising" carry light but strong traps the No. 1 Newhouse will hold most small animals.
There is yet much government land in the Northwest, West, South and Southwest. Ex-amine carefully before locating, taking the various advantages and disadvantages into consideration.
The growing of medicinal roots ginseng, golden seal, etc. can be followed while "holding down" a homestead.
Don't shoot until you know what it is others may be prospecting for many men have been killed thus.
Game laws are constantly changing so that it is advisable to have the latest copies.
Crops may fail but there has always been a cash market for furs as well as medicinal roots, when cruising keep your eye open for these. The A. R. Harding Publishing Co., Columbus, Ohio, publish books on trapping, also one on Ginseng and other Medicinal Roots. It will pay you to send for circular describing them.
Prospecting in the Central West means looking up pearl signs as well as fur, as many of the rivers in Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, etc., contain pearls.