From the Editor: The Value of History

As surveyors we know all about history and how that history affects a parcel of property. Without this knowledge we could not do our work. Many of us older surveyors like history for more romantic reasons because we have seen a lot of it in our years. The genesis of this month’s cover feature revolves around a well-known historical character, Daniel Boone. Like John Brown, the cover subject of our July/August issue last year, who knew Daniel Boone was a surveyor?

For many years, Bruce Carlson, founder and CEO of Carlson Software, has had a vision for his hometown of Maysville, Kentucky. In addition to basing his business there, he has developed not only his office space in a beautiful old building, he has also built a park next door and populated it with several works of art. We wrote about this in our May 2017 issue: You can see the base for the Daniel Boone statue in the PDF.

Daniel Boone was a practicing surveyor during his residence in Maysville. According to Bruce, “In one of the books I read on Daniel Boone, it stated that he was a very good surveyor and knew how to measure accurately.” In discussing why he decided to have a statue created, Bruce added. “The country needs some heroes right now.” Hats off to Bruce for all he done for our profession all these years, and for providing an economic boost to his hometown.

In the world of commerce, we all know the value of a good website. But in addition to putting people together with products, a website can be a repository of knowledge. I’m proud of the fact that all the articles from my 26+ years as a magazine editor are available in online archives. Two of the articles in this issue are a direct result of material contained in the extensive archive on our website.

The first came as a result of research a resident of Nantucket, Nikoline Bohr, was making into two odd-looking stones in her town. She was concerned because the stones were not being protected, and one had even been hit by a car. In her research she came across an article written by Dr. Vladimir Strelnitski in our May 2006 issue Likewise a resident of Nantucket, Dr. Strelnitski was a friend of our unparalleled historian Silvio Bedini. Nikoline approached me and asked if I’d like another article about these two particular stones. You can see the result on page 16.

The second article comes from Ireland. Ian Sherry began his surveying career with the Ordnance Survey in Ireland back in the 1970s. Electronics descended on our profession during this time, but not before he had the opportunity to do it the “old way.” His recollections are fascinating, and at times hilarious, and can be found on page 30.

I’d like to call special attention to this issue’s GLO Record of the Week. Because it’s so close to where I live I don’t know why I haven’t featured it before, but in a circular fashion, it brings up another subject: the 2022 Surveyors Rendezvous. This year it will be held in Harper’s Ferry, WV, a stone’s throw from the C&O Canal. Those of you who know your history are aware that Harper’s Ferry is where John Brown made his last stand. And who knows, maybe Daniel Boone passed this way during his many explorations.

There’s plenty more in this issue, including a feature about ship scanning and installments from Gary Kent (with help from Jessica Hess), Wendy Lathrop and Dave Lindell. And once again, if you like the print version of the magazine, I hope you’ll consider supporting us. You can subscribe on our website.

About the Author

Marc Cheves, PS

Marc Cheves is editor emeritus of the magazine. He has been a surveyor since 1963 and is licensed in five states. Since 1995 he has been a surveying magazine editor.