Seward Meridian



The Seward Meridian is located approximately 125 miles south of Anchorage and 2.5 miles east of Seward, Alaska.  From State Highway 9 go east approximately 2.1 miles on Nash Road from State Highway 9 to the east end of a guard rail and a parking area on the left and dim road on right.  The road on the right leads to a stone commemorative marker for the Seward Meridian which was placed by the Alaska Society of Professional Land Surveyors.  This monument is approximately 4 feet tall with a 3 1/4" brass disk embedded in the top of the stone.

The parking area on the north side of the road is a good place to park while hiking to the Seward Meridian.  This is the road crossing for the Iditarod Trail and the trail can be used for approximately 700 before an easterly bushwhack is used for the last 2000' across a flat wetland to the meridian with a short climb at the end.




Home Page

Submitted by:

Kurt A Luebke



The Seward Meridian was originally placed in 1911, but replace in 1995 by the BLM.  No recordation notes have been located at this time.  I visited the site with Wesley Skinner from Anchorage on a nice day in April.  We hiked easterly across a flat wetland area with a heavy undergrowth of "Devil's Club" and avoided the insects by hiking through between 4" and up to waist deep snow in places. 

At the projected corner position we located a bent and broken steel fence post and two lath at the intersection of the four live and well marked bearing trees.  The area was covered by approximately 4 inches of snow and a very thick layer of ice between the two standing lath.  The broken post was used as a digging tool, but made little dent in the ice; a large rock was located and used to chop through the ice layer.  A large concrete pad was chiseled out of the ice which showed some embedded small rocks in the concrete as well as a small pvc pipe flush with the pad.  A brass disk was found at what is assumed to be the center of the concrete pad.  I would assume the pad is approximately 3'x3' in size and has 3 pvc pipes imbedded to be used for leg holes for an instrument setup over the brass disk.

Kurt Luebke






Blazed Tree

Devil's Club Jungle.


Early on The General Land Office realized that the original monuments which were stone, wood posts and brass capped pipes could disappear over time and they needed to come up with a way to put these monuments back into position.  They began using bearing trees which were used as accessories to the corner monument.  At section corners instructions were to place one bearing object in each quadrant (NW, NE, SE & SW) from the corner.  These were generally trees, but could also be rock and stone walls or monoliths.  The trees would be blazed and scribed with the township, range, section and the letters "BT" for the quadrant that the tree was located in.  Stones would be chiseled "X BO".  These bearing trees or objects were measured with a bearing and horizontal distance to the corner monument and the measurements were include in the official survey notes.  These bearing objects would hopefully be easier to find or last after a corner has been lost; the retracement surveyor can use them as a reference to either find a buried monument or replace a lost monument.  The intersection of the distances should mark the spot of the original corner position.