Witness Trees G

Point G: “North Shore of Picnic Point Between Sections 15 & 16”

Original Land Survey, Twp 7N, Rge 9E, 15-16 N

This is among the survey lines of greatest interest to modern visitors to the Preserve, since this route between sections 15 and 16 starts at the intersection of modern Linden and Walnut Streets (by what is today the WARF Building), runs north to intersect University Bay, and finally emerges from the lake to cross Picnic Point, ending near the modern Picnic Point Beach House. Running this kind of line was always a challenge for the surveyors, not only because it was broken up by the lake, but because a sizable portion of the route passed through wetland.

At this location, after having crossed the western end of the Picnic Point Marsh, Deputy Surveyor Orson Lyon reached Lake Mendota near the modern Picnic Point Beach House. He ended his line at a “Burr Oak 24 inches diameter”

Burr oak would suggest a dry, open forest or savanna, but the surveyor’s overall description of this line emphasizes how wet it was: “Land level & 2nd & 3rd rate nearly all marsh growth grass.”

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.