Colvin Compass

Posted in Crew events on May 8th, 2012

After our first fund raising event, we have recently purchased V. Colvin’s compass and tripod. It appears to be a Gurley “pocket railroad compass” model no. 157, with a 3 1/2″ needle, a 4″ limb with vernier reading to five minutes; the vernier for the magnetic variation is also five minutes. The manual recommends tripod model no. 168 (the light compass tripod) with legs 4 feet 8 inches, usually mahogany or cherry.

This purchase was facilitated through a descendent of V. Colvin’s Albany neighbor finding our website and contacting us.



We had the occasion to use it on our last recovery and here is C. Donald in the role of instrument man re-inacting a “preliminary reconnaissance” from Bolt 260.  This is the type of work the compass would have been used for, i.e. establishing sight lanes that needed to be cleared, identification of distant peaks and the gathering of station ties etc.


  WOW! that was something you don’t see every day.

The compass is now on display at Ranger School and will be part of their “Centennial Celebrations” this year.

Special thanks goes out to Mike Webb for doing the purchase leg work, the “crew” for coming through on the funding and Art Carpenter for doing the preliminary research on the make and model.

 Additional research will be conducted as time permits to see if we can derive a date of purchase etc.

Jim Vianna

Lake Placid

Posted in Crew events on August 6th, 2010

Well it was a fine weekend with calm water for our boats. About a half dozen points were recovered by a crew of ten. A full write up will follow soon.

Please visit the “Future Recoveries” page for this falls outing information.

Thanks again,

Jim Vianna

The Great Corner Revisited

Posted in Crew events on November 3rd, 2009

Under the direction of the Camp Clerk (Mike Webb, L.S.) students from SUNY Ranger School made a return recovery to the “Great Corner” this fall. A detailed write-up can now be downloaded from the “Past Recoveries” page.

Well done Mike,

Lake Tear of the Clouds

Posted in Crew events on September 24th, 2009


Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for another successful recovery. All went well with various points being recovered. The weather could have been better on the summits but at least no serious rain. Check back in a few weeks on the “Past Recoveries” page for a full write up.

Jim Vianna

C. Donald at Lake Tear

Crew awards

Posted in Crew events on May 22nd, 2009

On May 14, 2009 at a general membership dinner meeting of the Eastern New York Society of Land Surveyors (ENYSLS) held in Ballston Spa, N. Y., a presentation was made on behalf of the Colvin Crew to C. Howard Johannessen, L.S. (President of ENYSLS) and Kurt Heiss, L.S. (crew webmaster) for their assistance in creating our Website. A power point presentation then followed on V. Colvin’s accomplishments.

C. Howard Johnannessen, LS

C. Howard Johannessen, L.S., ENYSLS President accepting on behalf of ENYSLS


Kurt Heiss, L.S. (crew webmaster) receiving the coveted “crew pin” along with  membership in the Crew.

More pictures can be found at the ENYSLS website

Thanks again,

Jim Vianna, Superintendent