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1872 California-Nevada State Boundary Marker

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1872 California-Nevada State Boundary Marker
The Nevada side of the marker
1872 California-Nevada State Boundary Marker
LocationSouth side of Henness Pass Rd at the California-Nevada state line[1]
Nearest cityVerdi, Nevada
Coordinates39°31′27.8″N 120°0′6.7″W / 39.524389°N 120.001861°W / 39.524389; -120.001861Coordinates: 39°31′27.8″N 120°0′6.7″W / 39.524389°N 120.001861°W / 39.524389; -120.001861
Built1872 (1872)
ArchitectAlexey Von Schmidt
NRHP reference #81000387
Added to NRHPAugust 27, 1981

The 1872 California-Nevada State Boundary Marker marks the initial point for the 1872 survey delineation of the state line between California and Nevada. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


The California side of the marker
The California side of the marker

When California attained statehood in 1850, it adopted 120 degrees west longitude as its eastern border.[2][3] Between 1855 and 1900 there were six surveys to locate 120 degrees, with each locating 120 degrees of longitude differently.[4] In 1872, Alexey Von Schmidt undertook the survey of the state line. He marked his survey line with stones, wood, and iron markers; the only one who placed such markers[4] A new survey in 1893 showed that the Von Schmidt line was 1,600 to 1,800 feet west of the actual 120 degrees. However, California and Nevada both recognize the 1872 Von Schmidt survey and the 1893 survey as the state line.[4]

The 1872 marker near Verdi, Nevada is a four-sided cast iron pylon eight feet tall. It includes the words "CALIFORNIA" on the west face of the pylon, "NEVADA" on the east face, "1872, LONGITUDE 120 WEST OF GREENWICH, A.W. VON SCHMIDT, U.S." on the south face, and "170 MILES 47 CHAINS TO OREGON" on the north face.[4] The marker is surrounded by a wrought iron fence.

The marker was listed in the National Register of Historic Places because it represents the initial point of survey for the California-Nevada border, and is a remnant of this survey.

NGS gives current data for another 1872 marker that may still exist at the northeast corner of California.

See also


  1. ^ Alvis Hendley. "1872 California-Nevada State Boundary Marker". NoeHill Travels in California. Archived from the original on 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
  2. ^ a b California v. Nevada, 44 U.S. 125 (Supreme Court of the United States 1980) ("The two straight-line segments that make up the boundary between California and Nevada were initially defined in California's Constitution of 1849. The first, the "north-south" segment, commences on the Oregon border at the intersection of the 42d parallel and the 120th meridian and runs south along that meridian to the 39th parallel. And the second, the "oblique" segment, begins at that parallel and runs in a southeasterly direction to the point where the Colorado River crosses the 35th parallel. Cal.Const., Art. XII (1849). In 1850, when California was admitted to the Union, Congress approved the 1849 Constitution, and with it California's eastern boundary. Act of Sept. 9, 1850, 9 Stat. 452. On the same day that it admitted California, Congress established a territorial government in the area immediately to the east. The organic Act for that new Territory -- which was then called Utah -- stated that it was to be "bounded on the west by the State of California." Act of Sept. 9, 1850, 9 Stat. 453. Eleven years later, the Territory of Nevada was created out of Utah. Congress indicated in the organic Act that Nevada might include portions of what was then California, but with the proviso that "so much of the Territory within the present limits of the State of California shall not be included within this Territory until the State of California shall assent to the same by an act irrevocable without the consent of the United States. . . ." Act of Mar. 2, 1861, 12 Stat. 210. No assent was ever given by California. Accordingly, when Nevada was admitted as a State in 1864, its western boundary and California's eastern one remained congruent.").
  3. ^ Brean, Henery (May 2, 2009). "Nevada and California have a border dispute going back to 1850". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on March 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Abbe, Donald (1979). "1872 California-Nevada State Boundary Marker". National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
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1872 California-Nevada State Boundary Marker
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