The Search for Boundary Stones – Part I

I recently learned a bit of DC history that has now turned into a scavenger hunt for me and a few friends.  In the last 1700s, Andrew Ellicott, a surveyor who helped map the boundaries of the District of Columbia (and continued and completed Pierre L’Enfant’s work on the street plan for DC), laid a stone at every mile marker along the original DC boundary lines.  At the time, the DC boundary lines formed a diamond shape that extended west of the Potomac River.  Now a big chunk of that land is Virginia and Maryland, but the stones still mark the original boundary lines, or at least come close — many have been moved as the areas were developed, or when the stones had been damaged or destroyed.

I think I first heard about the Boundary Stones from a post on We Love DC.  I thought it was interesting but forgot about it pretty quickly…until I noticed the stones mentioned in several other random blogs posts and articles over the next year.  Then one of my friends, who had no idea I knew anything about them, sent me a site about the stones, saying that he wanted to try to find all of them.  It seemed like a fun way to enjoy the last of the nice fall weekends, so we gathered a group and started planning.  Finding all 40 in one weekend seemed a bit daunting so we are tacking it one side at a time, starting with the southern-most stone and working our way clockwise.

On Sunday four of us set out on our bikes to locate the first ten stones.  On our bikes it took a little more than four hours, including a lunch break.  That was the first time I rode my bike outside of my neighborhood in about two years…and Virginia is hilly…I am in a lot of pain now.  Ten down and 30 to go!

One Response to The Search for Boundary Stones – Part I

  1. Hey cool! Always meant to do that.

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