Witness Tree Traditional Geocache
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Sometime during 1837 John Brink surveyed a tier line, which became the Manistee-Lake County line. When setting corners he used a white oak as a witness tree. That tree is still standing today.
Easy to walk to as you can drive to within 65.5 feet of it.
This cache is by a white oak that was around in 1837 when the U.S. Government first surveyed Manistee County. This would have been the first survey of the area, done by the Government Land Office (G.L.O.). That original survey is still known as G.L.O. surveys. In those years government surveyor John Brink set a corner near this geocache. He marked the corner with a wood post (long since rotted away). He also used a White Oak as a witness tree. He described it as eight inch diameter trunk, and the tree was north 30 degrees west, 25 links (16.5 feet) from the corner. That tree is still here to be seen today –surviving the logging era and forest fires.
In 1952 surveyor George Blass found the rotted wood post and replaced it with a two inch diameter 24 inch long iron pipe and broken glass. He noted the same White Oak now had a 30 inch diameter trunk.
In 1963 surveyor Robert A. Griffin replaced Blass’ iron pipe with a five inch square by five foot long concrete monument with a three inch brass tablet on top. He used the same White Oak witness tree. The brass tablet reads “T21N R13W SC S32 + S33 1963”.
In 1992 surveyor Norm Caldwell used the Griffin monument in a cadastral survey for the United States Forest Service.
On July 31, 1997 surveyor Kenneth Ross and survey tech. Kevin Pritchard found the Griffin monument (E-13, SW ¼ corner for section 33 T21N-R13W) as part of the Manistee County Remonumentation program. They also found the original G.L.O. witness tree in good condition, and now 33 inches in diameter.
Remonumentation (M.C.L. 54.261 et seq.) is a program where the original corners placed during the first survey of the state are found and the corner is monumented again. Those corners are mostly section corners and quarter corners (around each square mile section of a township). A surveyor does the work, produces the best evidence as to where the corner was actually placed in the 1837. He presents this work to a group of his peers –other surveyors who work in the area– who must unanimously agree that is the best re-establishment of where the corner is located that is possible. If agreed to, the corner becomes a remonumented corner, with its position monumented on the ground and recorded in the respective county Register of Deeds office.
This remomumented corner was peer reviewed and agreed to October 7, 1997.
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