In 1868 the County Surveyors of Alameda, San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties conducted a boundary survey to establish the county lines between the respective counties. An oak tree was selected on Mount Boardman, as the convergence point of these three counties along with the County of Santa Clara.
Approximately 148 years later, Chad Johnson and Larry Fontana from Stanislaus County Public Works had the opportunity to revisit the oak tree “County Corner” with the County Surveyors of Alameda, Santa Clara and San Joaquin. The group consisted of Michael Rubner, County Surveyor for Alameda County, Bill Slepnikoff, County Surveyor and his assistant Chris Wilson from Santa Clara County, Warren Smith County Surveyor from San Joaquin County, the retired Santa Clara County Surveyor Gwen Gee, and Mike Quartaroli with Quartaroli & Associates Inc.
This location was last visited by Stanislaus County Surveyor George Macomber in 1931. He set 1½ iron pipes as 20’ witness corners (point marked by a monument) in the four cardinal directions; north, south, east, and west.
The tree is located on the property owned by N3 Cattle Company LLC. Contact was made with their ranch manager who provided access through the locked gates and acted as a guide up the hill. With a little searching, the oak tree was located - still alive - as well as the witness corners set by Macomber. They were able to occupy the witness corners with GPS units to determine coordinates and perform some old fashion chaining between the points on the ground to verify distances. The data collected will be shared by the four counties to improve all of our GIS platforms.
Story by Larry Fontana