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Surveyor's Base Camp Christmas Card

This scene near Mount Jefferson in Oregon represents what many of the surveyors in the Pacific Northwest had to endure around 1900–1910. At that time in history, the survey of public lands was under the direction of the United States Surveyor General. Much of the surveying consisted of subdividing townships into 36 sections, measuring and marking the section lines with blazes on trees, and setting and marking section and quarter-section corners on all lines surveyed. After the surveys were completed, the land was opened for settlement by homesteaders, for logging, or for other use depending on its nature. The survey crew at that time usually consisted of 5–7 people; a chief of party, a compass carrier, 2 chainmen, 1 or 2 axemen, and a packer/cook.

The line of survey had to be on a straight course through timber and brush, over fallen logs (sometimes higher than a man's head), rivers and creeks, across deep canyons, and over steep and rugged mountains. The only deviation occurred when lakes, rivers or inaccessible terrain were encountered, in which case triangulation or offset lines would be established around or across the obstruction.
Occasionally, our present day foresters or loggers will come across a tree that has an odd twist to the trunk or peculiar look to one side of it - to find that the tree has long since encompassed an old surveyor's blaze containing corner markings.

Living in our present day we should recall our heritage and be thankful for the great renewable resource of our country and for the people who endured hardships to tend the great forests of North America.

(Information for this story from the Oregon Historical Quarterly, December, 1972, "Over the Brush and Though the Trees: Surveying, 1900–1909, by Ray L. Stout, Surveyor/Engineer.)

Surveyor's Base Camp Christmas Card
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The following standard pre-printed sentiment will appear:
"With each Holiday Season it gives us pleasure to extend our best wishes to those whose friendship we cherish. "

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