Geodetic Center of North America


The Geodetic Center of North America was entered on the National Register of Historic Places on October 9, 1973. It is not to be confused with the Geographic Center of the Continental United States, which is located some 50 miles to the north near Lebanon, Kansas.

rn The following history of the Geodetic Center is taken from The Military Engineer, March-April, 1949:

On private land in open grassland country on what once was known as Meade’s Ranch in Osborne County, 18 miles southeast of Osborne, Kansas, there is an unpretentious monument which one is not likely to see unless he is looking for it, and knows where to look. This monument consists of a bronze disk, 3.6 inches in diameter, set in the top of a block of concrete 24 inches square at the top, 36 inches square at the base, and 3 feet high, set in the ground so that its top surface is 6 inches above the ground. This disk like many hundreds of thousands of other Coast and Geodetic Survey disks in the United States and its possessions, bears a legend cast into it, which reads: “US Coast and Geodetic Survey Triangulation Station. For information write to the Director, Washington, DC.” with an added warning of penalty for disturbing the mark. Also stamped on it is “MEADES RANCH.” This is not to tell the world that this spot is on Meade’s Ranch, but to indicate that it is the triangulation station named Meade’s Ranch, and is the reference point for all property lines and city, county, state and international boundaries on the North American continent that are tied to the national triangulation networks of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

If anything should happen to this monument, which is of such great national and international importance, there is another monument below it. It is of political importance because of property lines defined by coordinates determined by the triangulation network over the continent. It is important to commerce, transportation, and communication, and all users of maps and charts, since all maps and charts must fit together as parts of the whole map of the continent. It is possible to fit together all of these parts, because they are controlled by a single triangulation network on a single datum.

The Triangulation station “Meade’s Ranch” should be marked with an impressive monument in keeping with its importance and dignity.


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