GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — A band of surveyors recently went digging for history and direction and found it.
About 30 members of the Professional Surveyors Association of Nebraska discovered two monuments in central Nebraska that were buried in 1893. The surveyors spent their summer seminar focused on uncovering monuments along the southern 12 miles of the 24-mile-long boundary between Sherman and Howard Counties.
The limestone rocks discovered in July were put in the ground by Robert Harvey, Nebraska’s first state surveyor. Harvey placed a stone every 3 miles along the route to clarify the border between the two counties. The markers were buried 2 feet deep, but time and elements pushed some of the stones deeper.
Half of the surveyors found a rock at the 12-mile corner, which was well west of the county line road. The other half of the surveyors uncovered a stone 3 miles north of the county line road.
Surveyors won’t make any changes to the county border.
Some association members said it was one of the best summer seminars they’ve had, said Casey Sherlock, Hall County’s public works director and surveyor.
Lead surveyors located a third stone, the zero-mile monument, but efforts to find the 9-mile marker were unsuccessful.
The project was done partly because this year is Nebraska’s 150th anniversary, as well as the 150th anniversary of the original survey.
Harvey put the markers underground to protect them from wind and the elements, as well as from people who would deliberately destroy or move them. Nebraska surveyors said they have a lot of admiration for Harvey.
“When you follow his measurements, you’re going to be close to wherever he says it was supposed to be,” Sherlock said.