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Author Topic: DC Boundary Stones  (Read 282 times)

Alps

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DC Boundary Stones
« on: November 12, 2018, 07:59:50 PM »

This past weekend, I took a trip to see all of the publicly viewable remaining boundary stones, minus the replicas. There are still 36 of the 40 stones, and 35 of the 36 can be seen if you try hard enough. (32 of them are straightforward as long as you don't mind a little trespassing or knock-and-ask.) http://www.boundarystones.org/ does a tremendous job explaining where they all are, and giving street view and photos to help you orient. Based on my experience, I've come up with the following list. (NW 4 is listed twice depending on how close you want to get to "count" it.) I now need to see if I can get clearance from the treatment plant to see the remaining stones while I'm down there on a weekday.

Level 0: nonexistent
  • NE 1
  • SE 4
  • SE 8
  • SW 2
Level 1: easy (minimal walk, no obstacles to photography)
  • all not otherwise listed
Level 2: intermediate (requires a bit of a walk to see, may not be immediately visible)
  • N (hidden from street, need to park at apartments and walk)
  • NE 8 (open fence in sketchy area)
  • SE 5 (need to park after it and cross a busy street)
  • S (by lighthouse)
  • SW 5 (hidden from street, need to park at bank and walk)
  • NW 1 (in back of a driveway)
  • NW 3 (private backyard)
  • NW 4* (far approach – walk down RR trail)
  • NW 9 (along a long driveway)
Level 3: expert (requires special skills to obtain)
  • NW 2 (scramble up a very steep, wet embankment and hop a fence… then scramble down)
Level 4: extreme (not advised)
  • SE 9 (1.5 hours round trip, over a mile of swamps, bushwhacking, and rock climbing, may not be public land)
Level 5: impossible
  • NW 4* (close approach – water treatment plant)
  • NW 5 (water treatment plant)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 10:03:44 PM by Alps »
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Re: DC Boundary Stones
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 09:09:50 PM »

You say that NW 2 is both Level 0 and Level 3. The website you linked says that NW 2 exists. Did you mean to say 36 of 40?
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Alps

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Re: DC Boundary Stones
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2018, 10:03:57 PM »

You say that NW 2 is both Level 0 and Level 3. The website you linked says that NW 2 exists. Did you mean to say 36 of 40?
Yeah, good catch. I don't even know what I did there.

jakeroot

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Re: DC Boundary Stones
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 12:39:35 AM »

Perhaps this is common knowledge that has continually evaded me, but I never knew DC extended across the Potomac.

I'll need to go check out these stones next month once I'm back in the District.
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: DC Boundary Stones
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 12:46:05 AM »

I remember reading about these a while back. Very interesting stuff. I'm kind of surprised that they're not all on public land.
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abefroman329

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Re: DC Boundary Stones
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 06:45:28 AM »

Perhaps this is common knowledge that has continually evaded me, but I never knew DC extended across the Potomac.

I'll need to go check out these stones next month once I'm back in the District.
Essentially, what is now Arlington County was once part of DC, and DC was more of a diamond shape rather than what we know now. I wouldn’t say it’s common knowledge outside DC.
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Re: DC Boundary Stones
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2018, 08:11:18 AM »

Prior to 1846, DC did indeed extend across the Potomac.

Both Arlington County and that part of Alexandria north/east of a line roughly following the diagonal portion of King St were part of DC.  Where that line meets the DC/MD border (near the edge of current Jones Point Park) is the southermost tip of DC.

BTW, Alps, SE9 (in your Level 4 list) is on public land, whether it's part of Oxon Cove Park (NPS) or part of the SHA/DDOT ROW for I-295, depending on specific location.
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