In 15 years Michigan will be celebrating its 200th year as a state in the United States of America. But as one Facebook page pointed out, the state actually started with a giant mistake. The mistake lies in the Meridian Baseline State Park, roughly 15 miles north of Jackson. This is where all the maps of all the cities and counties in Michigan began.

This is the place where all townships and counties in Michigan’s two peninsulas are surveyed. But as they pointed out, there are actually two points, not one. This is where the mistake came from. The state has two points because there were two surveyors, and when it came time to set the marker, they were way off from one another:
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On April 28, 1815, Benjamin Hough began surveying the Michigan territory. He started heading north from Fort Defiance in Ohio and about 70 miles north he set the first initial point in Michigan and began surveying sections 1 and 2. A second surveyor by the name of Fletcher surveyed sections 3 and 4 but his work was grossly inaccurate. To correct Fletcher’s mistakes a second initial point was established. One point is used for the east side of the state and the other is used for the west side of the state. Michigan is the only state to use two initial points for its public land surveying.

Open To The Public

In 2014 the state was able to create a parking lot and a trail to the two markers, which before had been on private land, and not open to the public. But now visitors are able to go visit them on a mile-and-a-half hike round trip where you can see both markers.

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