Witness Trees D

Point D: “Half-Mile Mark Between Sections 9 & 16”

Original Land Survey, Twp 7N, Rge 9E, 9-16 E

This was an unusual partial survey line, since neither its start nor its end was at a section corner; instead, Deputy Surveyor Orson Lyon ran a transect from shore to shore across what is today called Frautschi Point. At the half-mile quarter section point-which modern visitors can easily identify as the intersection of Lake Mendota Drive with the driveway for the Water Utility Building at the northwestern corner of the fields south of Frautschi Point-Lyon set a post and sighted to two trees:

“White Oak 16S 38W 19” and “Do. [ditto] 15N 72E”

Translated (converting the final number in the first entry from surveyor’s links to feet, and ignoring the initial compass bearing information), this means that he found two white oak trees, one 13 feet from the post, the other an urecorded number of feet from the post. Aside from probably indicating a typical southern Wisconsin oak forest, it is difficult to draw more conclusions from these partial data-though Lyon characterized this line across Frautschi Point as having “undergrowth grass,” suggesting a relatively open forest.

Learn how to read and interpret this data with the help of our page Original land survey notes for the Lakeshore Nature Preserve vicinity, December 1834.