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Locationless (Reverse) Cache

Y'all Stop Fightin Now, Ya Hear?(Mason~Dixon Line)

A cache by wcahilly Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 1/2/2003
1 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: virtual (virtual)

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Geocache Description:

The goal of this locationless cache is to document and photograph the locations of all "accessible" stone markers on the Mason-Dixon Line and the Trans-peninsular Line, and the Tangent Line which delineates the boundary between Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

In 1763 astronomer Charles Mason and Surveyor Jeremiah Dixon landed in the port of Philadelphia charged with the task of settling a long-standing land dispute. The Penns and the Calverts were each in possession of a royal charter to land between the Delaware and the Chesapeake however the precise description of their common boundary shall we say, was lacking.

Charles Mason, trained by the Astronomer Royal Dr. James Bradley at the Greenwich Observatory, was respected by the scientific community of the day and was among the men dispatched by the Royal Society to observe the "transit of Venus" in 1761. Accompanying Mason on this scientific venture was a respected land-surveyor, Jeremiah Dixon, recommended to the Society by the famous London instrument maker, John Bird. Although dispatched to Sumatra, setbacks resulted in their taking their observations from Cape Town, South Africa.

The quality of their observations taken at Cape Town did not escape the future Astronomer Royal, the Rev. Nevil Maskelyne. Maskelyne employed both Mason and Dixon in his study of gravity and tides, and then in the development of Lunar Tables for the determination of Longitude.

In 1681 the issuance of a Royal Charter for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania triggered a land dispute between the Calverts of Maryland, and the Penns of Pennsylvania. Though many attempts to settle the dispute both in and out of court had failed and the generations of ownership had changed, in 1763 the disagreement was no closer to solution then it had been in the beginning. The matter was referred to the English Courts and the Penns and Calverts agreed to hire the renowned team of Mason and Dixon to settle the issue.

The courts had found that the boundary was to be a line of "…constant latitude" beginning 15 miles south of the southernmost point in Philadelphia, and that the eastern terminus of the line was to be at the intersect of the projection of a line bisecting the Trans-peninsular Line and tangent to the arc defined as 12 miles in radius from the cupola of the court-house in New Castle.

Mason and Dixon established the southernmost point in Philadelphia and then located that latitude on the John Harlan farm some miles to the west. From there they carried a line 15 miles south to latitude 39d 43 18.2 and established "the post marked west". They then established the tangent line from the center of the Trans-peninsular Line to the tangent of the arc around New Castle and carried this line to a point of intersection with latitude 39d 43 18.2. From this point they drove into the wilderness using the skills of astronomer and surveyor to determine not a straight line, but a line of arc 233 miles long, by measuring a series of chord distances and then calculating the corrections to be made at specific locations.

In 1767, the line completed, they returned along the line with their workers and set stones at intervals to mark the boundary. In the western extreme of the line, piles of stones were to suffice until 1900 but in the east and central segments limestone pillars weighing as much as 600 pounds were set. Stones were set at mile intervals with every 5th stone bearing the crest of the Penns and the Calverts on their respective sides.

In the 1960's the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey resurveyed the line determining that at its greatest divergence from the true latitude it was less then 800 feet off. At that time, they further adjusted the latitude to be 39d 43 19.521 and concluded that the work of Mason and Dixon was extraordinary for the time and the quality of their instrumentation.

To claim this cache, provide a photograph of a stone marker along the Trans-peninsular Line, the Tangent Line, or the Mason-Dixon Line with your GPS in the photograph and showing the proper coordinates. The coordinates must be listed in the body of your message as well. Only the first entry for a particular stone will be accepted.

I will maintain a table of coordinates located on this page for others to view. If your claim does not include lat/long it will not be logged.


Some of these stones are on private property and the rights and authority of the owners are to be respected. In these instances, permission must be obtained to enter onto private lands. If permission can not be obtained, under no circumstances should you as a cacher trespass.


N 39° 39.143 W 075° 47.308 Tangent Stone
N 39° 43.331 W 075° 47.310 Wedge Stone
N 39° 43.272 W 077° 43.730 Mile Marker Stone
N 38° 27.076 W 075° 03.297 Eastern End, Transpeninsular Line. (Stone #1)
N 38° 27.604 W 075° 41.621 SW Corner, State of Del. (Center point of transpeninsular line)
N 39° 56.360 W 075° 43.965 Stargazers Stone
N 39° 43.193 W 077° 12.112 Replaced Crown-stone near Gettysburg
N 39° 43.262 W 076° 40.496 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.267 W 076° 41.606 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.346 W 075° 43.970 Post Marked West
N 39° 43.220 W 076° 55.181 Crown Stone
N 39° 43.356 W 078° 22.012 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.195 W 077° 10.981 Mile Marker
N 39° 38.103 W 075° 47.247 Mile Marker - Tangent Line
N 39° 43.254 W 077° 39.215 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.254 W 077° 40.360 "100 Mile" Crown Stone
N 39° 43.334 W 075° 46.429 "Arc Stone"
N 39° 43.214 W 076° 57.432 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.273 W 076° 10.034 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.302 W 079° 20.678
N 39° 43.282 W 077° 46.009 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.374 W 078° 41.540 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.371 W 078° 38.021 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.290 W 079° 28.630 Tri-Point Marker
N 39° 43.320 W 078° 46.500 Crown Stone
N 39° 43.332 W 075° 47.316
N 39° 43.203 W 077° 28.372 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.217 W 077° 32.607 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.206 W 077° 28.143
N 39° 43.275 W 077° 43.724 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.273 W 080° 07.081 Western-most Marker
N 39° 43.224 W 080° 49.371 Must be the "far west" ;-)
N 38° 48.096 W 075° 43.232 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.215 W 077° 34.049 Mile Marker
N 39° 43.332 W 079° 18.582 Mile Marker

Additional Hints (No hints available.)


...other caches hidden or found by this user

  • Mason-Dixon MonumentPictured is one of many Mason Dixon Line stone monuments. Visible is the "P" on the Pennsylvania side of the Stone and a matching "M" will appear on the reverse side facing Maryland.
  • Maryland Side of a StoneFor all of you Marylanders your side of the monuments looks like this *G*

42 Logged Visits

Found it 38     Didn't find it 1     Write note 3     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 86 images

**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

Current Time:
Last Updated: on 11/15/2017 3:57:45 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:57 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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