Will be addressing a high school class
Recently completed a fairly simple survey for two lots that are being donated to a high school so that a house can be built there by the building trades students. The school superintendent, who knows me well, asked me to do a presentation to the class members once the job was complete. Today I met with the instructor to start planning for this. My intended focus will be more aimed at the why there is a need for surveys than at the technical aspects, although they will be explained to some extent.
At some point fairly early in the presentation I intend to ask a couple of history questions. This will be used to drive home why surveying is far more than just looking at a recorded town plat and setting bars in precise agreement with it. Imperfection is rampant, in numerous forms, but normally not intentional. A key element will be to point out that the town plat that should be referenced was prepared in 1860. It is my intent to ask them what they know about the State of Kansas in 1860. That, of course, is a trick question. January 29, 1861 is the date when the State of Kansas came into existence. So, when their hometown was planned it was in Kansas Territory. The treaty placing the area in which the town is located as US government lands instead of tribal lands had only taken place about four years earlier. So, the section lines from which the town site was to be based had only been marked for less than four years. The town was laid out, principally on paper only, by the few early entrepreneurs who had made a claim on the specific town site lands, not by professional surveyors. If their eyes haven’t glazed over by that point, it should be fun. Many of the students will be descendants of those who arrived prior to 1900 so the historical reference may mean more to them than it would to an area with a far more transient population base.
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