What Are These Strange Stones Doing in Iowa Fields?
There are always stories to be told if you look close enough, and believe it or not, these seemingly unnecessary stones have quite the story to tell.
Stones like this can be found all across the Hawkeye State, and many of them have been around since the 19th century.
What Are These Stones Doing in Iowa Fields?
As it turns out, these stones were used as survey markers back in the 1800s, and remarkably, many of them are still standing close to 200 years later.
This survey stone, in particular, is located in Hardin County, on the corner of US Highway 65 and County Road D41.
According to Iowa PBS, surveying in Iowa was a big part of solving border disputes back when Iowa was still a territory.
In the early 1800s the United States government was following through on a plan to divide up the large areas of land acquired from Britain following the American Revolution. Because the government needed an orderly system to sell and settle the land, a system was created to clearly record boundaries of land ownership. The system, called "the rectangular survey", helped settle and prevent boundary disputes.
-Iowa PBS Website
These stones are scattered across the state of Iowa and some of them even have words or letters marked on them. Next time you're traveling through the Hawkeye State, keep your eyes peeled and you just might spot one.
For more information on the history of surveying in Iowa, check out this article from Iowa PBS.
Story Source: Iowa PBS