Making my way over North Mountain in Pawtuckaway State Park one day, I came across this, embedded in the granite.
I had never come across one of these survey marks before, but have since learned that they’re pretty common. The National Geodetic Survey keeps an extensive database listing them.
I looked up the NGS data sheet for this Pawtuckaway marker – or “patuccawa”, as it’s engraved on the disk – and saw that there’s been some kind of marker at this location since at least 1851. The data sheet includes references to various landmarks visible from the marker’s location, but I think those references go back a few years. North Mountain is pretty thoroughly forested now. The fire tower on Pawtuckaway’s South Mountain is the place to go for long-range vistas.
The marker has a stern warning about a fine or imprisonment for “disturbing” it. It would take one seriously motivated vandal to disturb that thing, which seems to have been installed to last.
I could make a list from the NGS database of markers nearby, but I won’t bother. I have enough lists of places to see. I’ll let the markers surprise me.