U.S. Coast & Geo-Survey Marker Exposed By Fire In Lime Ridge Open Space

July 19, 2018 14:00 pm · 32 comments

This is a geo-survey marker from 1946, marked with the word “Cowell”. It’s embedded in a concrete block, and was recently exposed after the fire in Lime Ridge Open Space in late June.

Our friend Atticus Thraxx found it just off the Ohlone Trail.

The following was described by the National Geodetic Survey in 1946:

THE STATION IS LOCATED ON THE HIGHEST POINT OF A LOW BRUSH COVERED HILL, ABOUT 2.9 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF CLAYTON,
ABOUT 1.4 MILES SOUTH OF CLAYTON AND ON LAND OWNED BY THE COWELL CEMENT CO. IT IS A TRIANGULATION STATION DISK SET
FLUSH IN THE TOP OF A CONCRETE MONUMENT PROJECTING ABOUT 1 INCH AND IS STAMPED COWELL 1946. IT IS 30 FEET NORTH OF A FENCE LINE, 68 FEET NORTHEAST OF A FENCE CORNER AND ABOUT 200 YARDS NORTH OF A POWER LINE PASSING OVER THE HILL.

Thanks to Atticus Thraxx for sharing this with us.

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: news@claycord.com. It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

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Drew July 19, 2018 at 2:04 PM

Nice find!

Chester E. Kitty July 19, 2018 at 2:17 PM

Very cool!! Thanks for sharing!

WC Resident July 19, 2018 at 2:40 PM

That’s a nice find. At one point I was making trips looking for the markers. I never though about setting the area on fire to clear brush. 🙂

Atticus Thraxx July 19, 2018 at 5:10 PM

Needs must, when the devil drives W.C. 🙂

TPC July 19, 2018 at 2:47 PM

Very cool.

Mika July 19, 2018 at 3:27 PM

What are they for?

Silva July 19, 2018 at 3:45 PM

That’s so cool!!

NoMoreFreeRide July 19, 2018 at 3:55 PM

Same type as on top of Mt. Diablo

Bob July 19, 2018 at 4:21 PM

Not as cool as the name Atticus Thraxx.

That is a name predestined for the entertainment industry, if not supervillianry.

Atticus Thraxx July 19, 2018 at 5:17 PM

That’s what I figured too Bob and I was leaning in to the supervillainry thing. Turns out though, supervillainry is extremely time consuming, incredibly expensive and I’ll go ahead and say it, lonely. So the best I could pull off was being mildly annoying. Ask anyone on this blog, that I have nailed down. 🙂

Martin July 19, 2018 at 8:31 PM

@Bob I agree. Great name.

Officer Barbrady July 19, 2018 at 5:11 PM

Long ago when I worked for the BLM we found these in the desert . The custom was to remonument them by stacking rocks near them. They are starting points for surveying .

Nice find by brother Thraxx

CalOldBlue July 19, 2018 at 5:44 PM
Shasta Daisy July 19, 2018 at 6:25 PM

Apollo, you see this?
Didn’t we see one of these near “The General”?
I can’t find my photo.

DARN!!!

Peace.

Ancient Mariner July 19, 2018 at 7:20 PM

Nice pic, Atticus.
Thanks for sharing!

Luvmycats July 19, 2018 at 7:31 PM

I recently told my husband there used to be a cement company up where those homes now are. There was excavation into the hills, maybe for the products that make the cement. I remember. He did not believe me! I win!.

Cowellian July 19, 2018 at 10:08 PM
VintageGirl July 20, 2018 at 1:42 AM

My boyfriend in the late 60s was Wayne Carlson’s nephew. Wayne had a wallpaper/silkscreen shop in the old town of Cowell’s Town Hall. Big brick building. Wayne is mentioned in Cowellian’s article. My boyfriend worked at the shop with Wayne and stayed at his house, also in Cowell, in the summer. I remember when everyone had to leave before the town was razed. It was weird being in this dusty little old fashioned town knowing it would soon be just a memory.

Cowellian July 20, 2018 at 8:39 AM

That article was a presentation made by Mr. William T Larkins, who was kind enough to share it with me. His wife, Tillie worked in Cowell’s offices, and the two of them are a wealth of information about Cowell. They are also really nice people.

Mr. Larkins is also an expert on old airplanes and has written several books on aviation.

Concord Gal July 20, 2018 at 1:03 PM

Great article! thanks for sharing, Cowellian.
And interesting addition by Vintage Girl.

I’m “new” to Concord (13 yrs) so this is fun info to read.

WC Resident July 19, 2018 at 10:14 PM

@Mika – The markers are used to survey and map the United States. They were placed so that future surveyors could find the exact spots that the original surveys were done from. There’s a marker at the top of Mt. Diablo that’s the reference point for much of northern California and all of Nevada.

Working from the marker at the top of Mt. Diablo surveyors record the angles and distances to other markers. There’s a record of the chain of markers from the one at the top of Mt. Diablo to the one Atticus Thraxx found. That record allows for creating a map that shows exactly where the “Atticus” marker is relative to Mt. Diablo.

The markers are then used to establish or document property lines. Local markers such as the one Atticus Thraxx found speed up the process of surveying. A surveyor in that part of Lime Ridge would first look for the “Atticus” marker and would use that as their reference point. They would take field notes on the measurements of the property they are surveying relative to the “Atticus” marker. Once they are back in the office they look up the offset of the “Atticus” marker from Mt. Diablo and add those numbers to all of their measurements. The official property description shows where its boundaries are relative to the marker at the top of Mt. Diablo.

Nature Lover July 20, 2018 at 7:07 AM

Thanks AT and WC Resident!

KenInConcord July 20, 2018 at 7:52 AM

Paste this into google earth.

37 56 01.29651 N, 121 59 11.29373 W

KenIConcord

Silva July 20, 2018 at 2:29 PM

Ah, thanks!

KenInConcord July 20, 2018 at 7:53 AM

Paste this into google earth.

37 56 01.29651 N, 121 59 11.29373 W

KenInConcord

rotfogel July 20, 2018 at 11:54 AM

Rename that part of Concord back to it’s original name of Cowell. I mean, doesn’t it sound better to say “I’m from Cowell” than “I’m from Concord”?

Cowellian July 20, 2018 at 11:59 AM

Why didn’t I think of that?

Lena July 20, 2018 at 12:18 PM

Excellent point.

Kirkwood July 20, 2018 at 4:50 PM

I can remember in my teens (early 50’s), riding my bicycle through the remnants of the town, seeing a few run-down houses and the fire station. I hiked with a school friend around the last quarry area and the train tracks. Grading for Ygnacio Valley Rd. was just beginning. Today, as I travel the summit of Y.V. Rd. I can look up the hill where the tracks were and wonder if the rails are still there.

Atticus Thraxx July 20, 2018 at 5:40 PM

The concrete block it’s attached to is completely uncovered. Not sticking up 1″ as described. A strong fella could lift it up and carry it. That’s how we even noticed it.

KeninConcord, looking at Google Earth, I don’t think the coordinate was were we found it. I’ll be there this weekend, I’ll try and find it again and pull a coordinate and compare. Maybe teenagers or some very strong do-gooder moved it for some reason.

EF July 21, 2018 at 10:38 PM

Let us know where you find it. Going looking for it tomorrow.

RunnerDope July 22, 2018 at 11:36 PM

Atticus,

I’m the one who moved that marker off the fire road about ten years ago. I was jogging up there one day and came across it in on the edge of the fire road. Don’t know how it got there. It’s unlikely it could have rolled down from the top of the hill where it used to sit.

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