Possibly the Most Historically Important Place in Michigan
This could be the most historically important place in Michigan.
2020 marks the 205th anniversary of Michigan’s initial surveying lines.
Two markers are located in the woods at Meridian Baseline State Park on Meridian Road, 30 miles south of Lansing and 14 miles north of Jackson, along the border of Ingham & Jackson counties.
This is where Michigan all started, back in 1815. These two locations within the woods mark Michigan’s north & south meridian and the east & west baseline.
So what’s the big deal, someone may ask? Oh, it’s just that all of Michigan’s townships and counties – upper and lower peninsulas – were surveyed from these two points. TWO points? Yep…Michigan is the only state with two points for land surveying.
Here’s why: Benjamin Hough surveyed the Michigan territory on April 28, 1815. He headed north from Ohio and after traveling 70 miles, he declared a spot of land to be the first initial surveying point in Michigan. There was a second surveyor named Fletcher that was believed to have botched the job so to correct the mistakes, a second initial point was necessary. Now one point is used for Michigan’s east side, and the other for the west side. Michigan is the only state to use two initial points for its public land surveying.
For years, the land where these two survey points sit was private property, surrounded by swampland and woods, shut off from the public. In 2014, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources picked up the land and made it accessible for the public to see and visit this historic state spot.
You don’t have to fight the poison ivy, swamps and trees…a trail was made for you to hike through the woods to see these awesome two point markers. If you go during summer months, you will need insect repellent, thanks to the swamps. However, toward the end of August through the fall the bugs aren’t too bad.
It’s about a mile-and-a-half round trip hike to the points back to your car but it takes you through some beautiful woods. Read a little more from mlive HERE. Take a look at the photos below, then go see for yourself!