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

Is this a Colvin marker?

Posted in Colvin points on May 13th, 2009

Many hikers are familiar with finding U.S.C.&G.S. (United States Coast and Geodetic Survey) disks on their favorite Adirondack peaks like this one:


The question then becomes, does this marker occupy the original Colvin hole?  Well, based on V. Colvins report to the N.Y.S. Legislators, apparently the Federal Government was removing his markers and setting their own as far back as the late 1800’s:



   Here is a picture of the crew at work on the same mountain top :



So, It would appear that it probably was standard practice for the Federal Government to remove Colvin’s bolt and replace it with one of their own (mines better than your’s thing ). On rare occasions they left Colvin’s marker in place (See Ruby Mtn. write up). Both Colvin and the U.S.C.&G.S. points were and still are subject to vandalizism, resulting sometimes in only a drill hole being found today. Many times it is not possible to ascertain the truth but occasionally with additional research a likelyhood can be established as to the question of does this disk occupy Colvin’s point.

Jim Vianna

Foot Holes???

Posted in Colvin points on May 5th, 2009

Many people ask me if Colvin or his crew occupied every mountain to perform their work. Well it depends on what you mean by occupy. Yes, every mountain located had to have at least a bolt and signal placed upon it, but not every mountain was occupied by theodolite. One way you can determine this in the field is to look for small drill holes set out in a roughly equilateral triangle around the station mark. The triangles formed by these drill holes will have bases of three – four feet and be about three feet distant from the station mark. The purpose of these drill holes was to allow for the instrument tripod feet to have a place to rest in so they would not kick out if hit or blown about in heavy wind.

Here is a picture of one: rare-tripod-foot-drill-hole

 Here is a recent picture from the top of West Mtn. and our Raquette Lake recovery showing the station mark in the middle with the three foot holes in a triangle marked with white powder.


 As Colvin wrote in his 1874 report:



And that’s the tip of the day.

Jim Vianna