How This Project Got Started

Instead of asking how you met your girl friend, fiancé or wife you are probably asking how and why in the world an 83 year old guy assembled these pictures of Mason-Dixon stones. Well, it was this way: A few years ago a very nice neighbor loaned me the book, “The Star Gazers” by Barbara Susan Lefever with the proviso that I get it back to her in six days. I found the book rather fascinating and had it read in four days and returned it in plenty of time.

I let it simmer on the back burner for months and finally stopped at one of these welcome places at state lines and it happened to be on US 15 and asked about Mason-Dixon stones in the area. They looked very puzzled and finally came up with oh, those are over on I-81 and I almost exploded with, holy mackerel, that’s fifty miles away but managed to smile and say thank you very much for the information.

So simmer on the back burner for a few more months it did, but I had a free day and decided to go down I-81 and see what I could find.  No welcome either direction then so went to Greencastle, the nearest town. Of course, I chose the wrong time and the wrong day because the Chamber of Commerce , City Hall, and local paper were all locked up tighter than a drum. Stomped around the square a few minutes fuming and then happened to think that I had passed the library on the way in so went back there and lo and behold it was open. Went in and asked my question about Mason-Dixon stones and the lady kind of hemmed and hawed until someone in the background spoke up and said that she thought that Mr. Worley, the local historian, knew all about those stones. Then they looked up his phone number, got him on the line and handed the phone to me. I am the worst guy in the world on the phone but did my best and finally was able to understand pretty well his directions, which were very good.

I high tailed it out of the library before I forgot his directions and within less than ten miles and an hour later had found three Mason-Dixon stones. I can’t remember how I found out that the stones are shown on the USGS Quadrangle sheets and started buying those sheets one or two at a time. I thought that they were the Bible equivalent until I found one obviously wrong and called Washington, D.C. about it so they could fix it as soon as possible and was met with an ho--hum. I asked the guy I was talking to if he had any info about the Mason-Dixon Line and he said he thought he had a couple of sheets around there somewhere. I extracted a promise that he would send me what he could find and was pleased to receive something from him in a couple of weeks.

By this time I had exhausted the Appalachian Trail day hikes (both ways) because I couldn’t find a fellow day hiker and at that time the Trail had too bad a reputation and I didn’t want to be come a statistic hiker so I found myself all bound up with the Mason-Dixon Line. As a result I found myself spending too many days in the spring and fall trying to find Mason-Dixon Stones. Some days were quite productive and some were unproductive but all were most educational in regards to the country in the vicinity of the Line.

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© 2001-2004  by Robert D. Hutton Jr. and Sr. Any part of this document may be reproduced or
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This page was last updated on 18 May, 2004