Help Team Stonewall Surveying Raise $2K for the Barrington Library Foundation

SS_2016tshirt-logodesign_FNLHelp Team Stonewall Surveying and the Barrington Library Foundation meet its goal of raising $2K by May 14th.

This year Stonewall Surveying will be donating $500 to the Barrington Library Foundation as part of our 2016 community outreach effort. In addition, we have secured a generous dollar for dollar match up to $2,000 from Karl Arndt, a longtime resident of Barrington and an avid supporter of the library. Funds donated by Stonewall Surveying, extra money from sponsors and any additional donations from runners of Team Stonewall Surveying, who will be competing in the Barrington Chamber Peeper Race on May 14th, will go towards this match. Your donation of $10 will become $20! A donationBLF New Logo of $25 becomes $50! And so on.

If you would like to donate towards this effort, please mail your tax deductible donation, made payable to the Friends of the Barrington Library, to Stonewall Surveying, P.O. Box 458, Barrington, NH 03825. Please indicate in the note section: For Foundation. You can also drop off your donation at the Library located at 105 Ramsdell Lane in Barrington before May 14th to count towards our goal.

Please help us spread the word!


A Day in the Life of a Surveyor: The Compass is Always Correct, Right?

Holding CompassWorking in the White Mountain National Forest presented many challenges. Weather, swamps, mountains and rocks are some examples.

On one project, we were tracing the steps of a previous surveyor to remark one on the boundaries of the Forest Land along the base of a hill. While using the old plan, we found our starting point and used the bearing on the plan to proceed along the line. As we followed the bearing we discovered an old blazed line. We were able to follow the remains of the blaze line and the compass bearing all the way to the next corner. We then setup our control points and located the monuments and blazes. We felt pretty good about finding all this old evidence.

Later, back at the office, one of the licensed surveyors mentioned that there was confusion about what we located. I was surprised and told him that everything seemed to match the compass bearing and evidence from the old survey plan. He then told me that what we located plotted as a curve. The distance from monument to monument was good, but the line was supposed to be straight. What we found was that in this area there was so much iron in the hill that it threw off the compass. Good thing we weren’t lost (see post about “Surveyors DO get lost at times, sort of” Posted on June 7, 2013.

A Day in the Life of a Surveyor: View from the Top of a Tree!

Spruce Trees with Mountains

Spruce Trees with Mountains in the Background.

One advantage to working along the Appalachian Trail was being able to see all the beauty that surrounded us. While we got a lot of work done, we also would take a few moments when the surroundings beckoned us.

One day I was working with Andy, a tall, thin, long-haired and long-bearded gentleman – and quite a character. We came upon some enormous White Pines and Spruce Trees. Largest trees I have ever seen until I saw the Redwoods. Three people could not reach around the base of these trees. Andy saw one and said to me “can you imagine the view from up there”?

Before I could say anything he scurried right up a Spruce Tree. Not half way or three quarters, but all the way up. He convinced me that I should climb up. I decided why not, knowing that I would not go up as high. I went up an adjacent tree just over three quarters of the way up. High enough that I could see the view in the valley, but not high enough that I would need a helicopter to rescue me (easily over a 150 feet up). I looked over at Andy and could not believe what I was seeing. He was at the top of his tree. When I mean the top, I mean his head was above all the branches and the tree top was bending over similar to the tree from the Grinch that Stole Christmas.

In the Life of a Surveyor, you never know what you will see or where you will see it from!

Old Maps

Durham 1856 Atlas

Durham Village 1856 Map

Durham Village 1856 Map

Old maps are more than just cool to look at or to hang on a wall. There is so much valuable information on old maps. Look closely and you can see roads, rivers, houses, cemeteries, hills, old boundaries, even names of residences. This information is not needed for every project, but when you get into a survey that does, and you are researching deeds back to the late 1700’s or 1800’s, these maps are invaluable!

Next time you see one hanging on a wall, see if you can recognize anything.

The maps shown are from the Strafford County 1856 Atlas. This is the Town of Durham, NH and Durham Village.

A Day in the Life of a Surveyor: Snow and Electronics Don’t Mix

Snow, Rain & Electronics = Problems!

Usually bad weather means that it is time for office work. But this is not always the case. One winter day while working on a White Mountain National Forest project, the owner of the company I worked for and I were completing our last day when bad weather came in. Snow and freezing rain started mid-morning and was heavy at times. We had to finish our traverse (control line) to an existing monument. Once the monument was located we would be able to determine the boundary line. If we didn’t finish, we would have to carry all the gear out and back in the next day.

We decided that we had time to finish and continued along despite the weather. Later in the day it was just heavy snow and we finally were approaching the monument………the end was near! We were both very cold, wet and anxious to leave the woods. Now the instrument started to not work. It would keep shutting off and the display screen would go haywire. We thought the batteries were just really cold. We tried to warm the batteries, but that didn’t work. Other attempts to solve the problem failed. It was starting to get dark and we knew that it was time to leave. So we started our trek and carried all the gear out.

Once back at our hotel room, we brought in all the gear to dry off. We noticed the instrument display had condensation on the inside (not a good sign). Being hours from the office didn’t give us many options so we decided to try and dry out the instrument. Our hotel room had an oven, so we opened the door and set the instrument on it. Them we turned the oven on low. We left it there for several hours until it was time to sleep. We turned off the oven, closed the door and placed the instrument on the table. The next morning, we woke up expecting to pack up and head home. We made one last attempt at turning on the instrument, and it WORKED! Back out to the woods we went!