she did it again! …and she was the last to get her shoes tied!

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Editor’s note: Many of you who have attended survey meetings around the country may have heard about Denny DeMeyer’s wife, Delores, who has a reputation for being able to find corners in places where all of the licensed surveyor experts could not, and in some cases, before the "experts" could even get their shoes tied. Here’s another tale of one such corner.

Infamous Land Surveyors’ Association of Washington (LSAW) auxiliary member and intrepid corner finder, Delores DeMeyer, outdid a dashing duo of guvmint surveyors and one other guy in the search and recovery of triangulation station "Tom". It happened while the International Boundary Recovery Team was continuing their efforts in recovering and measuring the control points for the International Boundary on the easterly side of Vancouver Island. While measuring at the monument named Fairfax on Moresby Island, one of the guvmint guys noted that there was a triangulation station located on the eastern tip of Rum Island, on the Canadian side of the channel. Since it was fairly close to the Fairfax boundary monument and presented a challenge, off went the trio to preserve history.

With the 1853 field notes in hand it was fairly easy for the trio to rationalize where the triangulation station should be located. As one of them surmised, "The original surveyors were as smart as we are and surely they placed the station right here."

The station was marked by a drill hole, and referenced by the letters "C.S." and an arrow pointing to the station from the northeast, three drill holes six feet distant, a tree stump to the north, and a tree to the northwest with a bearing and distance. "Piece of cake," said the other guy. The trio searched and scoured and cut brush and measured from trees and… didn’t find a darn thing. There were three trees marked with unusual faces and scars, but nothing matched the record. After a couple of hours, interest waned and other discussions ensued.

In the shuttling of people back to the yacht, Delores was in the tender that stopped by to take some of the team back. Being inquisitive and always up for a challenge, she asked the "other guy" if anything had been found. Having heard the negative reply, she asked for a reading of the description and was off to search. Within ten minutes she had recovered the letters and the arrow, which was within two feet of where one of the trio was on his hands and knees looking for drill holes in a low spot.

The expression on the face of the "other guy" tells it all!

Tim Kent is a geomatics professor at Oregon Institute of Technology. He specializes in the PLSS and has coauthored many articles on the historical aspects of the surveying profession.

Dave Steele is a professional land surveyor with the Washington State DNR. He is the Geodetic Survey Director and Height Modernization Program manager with a passion for historical retracement of tidal boundaries, including the international boundary of Washington.

Station Tom

On a rocky point about 15 feet above the water, on Tom Point on Tom Island, a small island off the east end of Gooch Island, and on the northeast projection of the point.

Station is marked by a drill hole in a depression of the rock surface. The reference marks are three drill holes in rock, each six feet distant; to northeast letters "C.S." and arrow cut in rock pointing in direction of the station; stump of tree bearing due north and blazed tree bearing N. 51º W, 94.5 distant from the mark.

Source: International Boundary Commission, Joint Report upon the Survey and Demarcation of the Boundary Between the United States and Canada, From the Western Terminus of the Land Boundary along the 49th Parallel… to the Pacific Ocean, Government Printing Office, 1921.

A 755Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE