APS Survey & Mapping

They brought a chainsaw and hand saws, a compass and GPS units, metal signs and fence posts, shovels and post pounders, spray paint and bright pink ribbon, 200-foot measuring tapes and other tools.

They were looking for the so-called monument that marks the spot where the corner point of this section line is located, one of the basic points from which all property lines in the U.S. are defined.

The monument markers were originally set by U.S. government surveyors from about 1850 to 1911 — guys in wool hats and plaid shirts carrying chains and a compass and a notebook. They camped in the woods and had little communication with the outside world — but took very good notes that have been preserved to this day.