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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Holly Grove in Monroe County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Two Lines Mark the Future of the United States

 

— Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park —

 
Two Lines Mark the Future of the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2015
1. Two Lines Mark the Future of the United States Marker
Inscription.  The stone marker behind you marks the 'Initial Point' for the survey of the Louisiana Purchase Territory. The east-west Baseline and the north-south line, the Fifth Principal Meridian, are fundamental in land transactions throughout the western United States and are the reason this site has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Look carefully at the forest in front of you. Most of these trees are water tupelo. Do you see the narrow opening between the tupelos? If you walked through that opening, which direction would you be going? (As you face this panel, north is to your right.) This line goes due west and is the 'Baseline' for surveys of 12 of the 13 states formed from the Louisiana Purchase Territory.

This panel made possible by a donation from
Arkansas State Society Colonial Dames XVII Century

 
Erected by Arkansas State Society Colonial Dames XVII Century, Arkansas State Parks.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationParks & Recreational Areas
Marker detail: 1815 Compass image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: 1815 Compass
1815 compass as used by Robbins and Brown when establishing the Initial Point for the survey of the Louisiana Purchase Territory.
Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks, and the The Colonial Dames XVII Century, National Society series lists.
 
Location. 34° 38.739′ N, 91° 3.131′ W. Marker is near Holly Grove, Arkansas, in Monroe County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 362 1.8 miles east of U.S. 49. Marker is located at east end of the swamp boardwalk in Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Holly Grove AR 72069, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Opening of the American West (a few steps from this marker); Beginning Point of the Louisiana Purchase Survey (a few steps from this marker); The Survey: 1815 (within shouting distance of this marker); Life in the Swamp (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Purchase: 1801-1803 (about 300 feet away); Louisiana Territory: 1682-1800 (about 400 feet away); The Swamp (about 400 feet away); Louisiana Purchase State Park (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Holly Grove.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park
 
Also see . . .
Two Lines Mark the Future of the United States Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2015
3. Two Lines Mark the Future of the United States Marker
(looking due west through the swamp, along the baseline)

1. Fifth Principal Meridian (Wikipedia). Two survey teams started on the same day and proceeded north (led by Prospect K. Robbins) and west (led by Joseph C. Brown), respectively. The initial point was located as the place where these surveyed lines intersected. As a result the initial point is in the middle of a high water swamp, on land that belonged to the Davidsons of Marvell, Arkansas. The family made this portion of their farm available to the state, and today the site, Louisiana Purchase State Park, consists of a 900-foot boardwalk leading from a parking lot into the swamp. (Submitted on August 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The Initial Point of the 5th Principal Meridian. This is the point from which practically all titles to the lands listed in Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota and parts of Minnesota and South Dakota are referenced. More land in the United States is referenced to this point, in a swamp in eastern Arkansas, than any other Initial Point. (Submitted on August 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
“Initial Point” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2015
4. “Initial Point” Marker
(located in the swamp behind this marker, just west of the boardwalk, at the intersection of Monroe, Lee and Phillips counties.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 25, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 8, 2021