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History Detectives?


For several years, PBS aired a popular show called "History Detectives." One of my favorite episodes looked into how a Japanese house made it's way to the San Francisco World's Fair just months before the outbreak of WWII - and survived to the present.

Land Surveyors are sometimes called to be "history detectives" too. As the only profession qualified to locate a property boundary based on a written description, a surveyor must sometimes gather shreds of evidence from unusual sources to come up with a reliable solution. As a recent case from the Interior Board of Land Appeals recently cited, a surveyor “…is required to thoroughly and diligently search for any evidence of the original corners, including the monument and its accessories. ‘The retracement surveyor must act as a detective to gather, verify and consider all available evidence.” James R. & Charlene K. Hasenyager, 176 IBLA at 259; see John W. and Ovada Yeargan, 126 IBLA at 363.

While sometimes frustrating, the patient surveyor will look through all the evidence and often times finds a surprising and satisfying conclusion to a land boundary mystery!


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