About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents

Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By

Product Reviews
Partner Sites







Spatial Media LLC properties




Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Thought Leader: A Final Point in Honor of Henry David Thoreau Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Pallamary, PS   
Saturday, 21 October 2017

A 1.124Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Henry David Thoreau was a man with many interests. He was an American essayist, a Land Surveyor, philosopher, naturalist, poet, historian, and writer. He is perhaps, best known for his book Walden and his noteworthy essay Civil Disobediance, wherein he advances the concept of legitimate disobedience in response to an unjust state.

Although he lived to only 44 years of age, his contributions were lasting and impressive, many of which developed while he earned a living, meager as it was, as a Land Surveyor. While mapping Walden Pond and the surrounding communities, Thoreau meticulously documented the natural environment that surrounded him. Over the course of 24 years, the son of a pencil maker eventually compiled two-million words, detailing his vivid and valuable impressions.

After graduating from Harvard University, Thoreau returned to Concord where he befriended the American essayist, lecturer, and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson. His mentor, 14 years his senior, introduced him to a number of prominent writers including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott, Ellery Channing, and Margaret Fuller.

On Thursday September 14, the Surveyors Historical Society honored Thoreau with the dedication of a "Final Point" monument at the Thoreau family gravesite, as part of the Annual Surveyor's Thoreau, the son of a pencil Rendezvous in Concord, Massachusetts. Located in The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Thoreau rests alongside his former associates, atop the "Author's Ridge."

The success of the Final Point ceremony is mainly due to a benefactor, Ms. Lorna Hainesworth from Randallstown, Maryland. In an interview with the Concord Journal, Ms. Hainesworth noted that land surveying was "instrumental in the development of the country," and that Thoreau was a "very good, accurate surveyor, who took a lot of pride in his work." She was accompanied by Richard Leu, chairman of the Surveyors Historical Society, who noted that land surveying was the one profession that Thoreau held for the longest period in his life, from 1846 to 1860.

Society member David Ingram, of Mount Crawford, Virginia, had the honor of placing the "Final Point" in the ground. Curt Sumner, the executive director of NSPS, performed the formal dedication of the monument, explaining to the one-hundred plus attendees that the program has been in place since 2003. To date there have been more than 200 monuments placed around the country. In addition to honoring past surveyors, one of the primary objectives of the program is to raise scholarship money. Curt also thanked David Ingram for his extraordinary efforts, noting that Thoreau's Final Point will serve as a "source of pride" for NSPS and the entire surveying community. Curt's speech can be found at: https://youtu.be/4qtvSWscHrQ

Also in attendance was Patrick Chura, author of Thoreau The Land Surveyor. In a review published in The American Surveyor magazine, in August 2017, Massachusetts Land Surveyor Patrick Garner wrote of Chura's book:
"Thoreau prospered for more than a decade as a surveyor in the Concord area because he was considered to be both honest and accurate. He often applied the highest levels of science to many of what were, in reality, run-ofthe-mill surveys. The author observes that Thoreau was often subsumed by the beauty of the underlying geometry rather than the job itself."

The Final Point program involves honoring a Land Surveyor with the placement of a brass survey monument, inscribed with the latitude and longitude of the surveyor's final resting place or, of a location of some other importance. The program is a partnership between NSPS and Berntsen International. For every marker purchased, donations are made to the NSPS Foundation and the Berntsen/NSPS Scholarship Fund. For additional information, go to: http://www.nsps.us.com/?page=FinalPoint

Michael Pallamary, PS, is the author of several books and numerous articles. He is a frequent lecturer at conferences and seminars and he teaches real property to attorneys and other members of the legal profession. He has been in the surveying profession since 1971.

A 1.124Mb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

< Prev   Next >

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Thought Leader: Land is Too Important to Be Left to Land Specialists
A while back I was searching the Internet for an old treatise on land titles. A Google query yielded a book published in 1914. The author was Charles Claudius Kagey and the book was titled "Land Survey and Land Titles, a book for boys and girls, a reference volume for property owners, a text ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Wacker vs. Price - Irony in Sevenfold
This month's case takes us to Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. The Arizona Supreme Court went all guns-a-blazin' in Wacker vs. Price (216 P.2d 707 (Ariz. 1950)). Maybe it's just me, but I'm sensing plenty of irony and have taken license to point it out along the way. I like what the Court did with this case ....
Read the Article
Allen E. Cheves 
Around the Bend - A Visit to Carlson Software
The Ohio River is one of America's greatest, running near 1,000 miles between Pittsburgh and the Mighty Mississippi. Much of the coal and other products that fueled our nation's industrial expansion flowed between the shores of this maritime ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Surveying & Mapping Economics Part 3 - Customers & Services
This article continues an inquiry into the economic conditions of the Surveying and Mapping industry (NAICS 541370) using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This time we will look at customers and services. The data comes from the Economic Census conducted every 5 years on American ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
True Elevation: Black Elk Peak
Black Elk Peak, located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, is the state's highest natural point. It is frequently referred to as the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Two other peaks, Guadalupe Peak in Texas and ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
Bringing The Goods - Mobile Scanning an Integral Component
When Jim Smith, Jerrad Burns and Charlie Patton left the Memphis division of a major construction company in 2015, they took with them the knowledge of how to get even the most complex jobs done and what equipment could best serve them in making that happen. So when they joined West ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Test Yourself 41: Integers, Integers, and Integers
ABF is a 5:12:13 triangle, ACF is a 48:55:73 triangle, ADF is a 3:4:5 triangle, and AEF is a 7:24:25 triangle, all with integer sides and inscribed in a semi-circle. What are the lengths of BC, CD, and DE? ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Sunset or Sunrise?
While we often think of legislated government programs as static, they do change over time. Such evolution and opportunity for transformation are part of the dialogue in reauthorizing these programs. Every so many years there is a sunset on each government program, and this September is the ....
Read the Article


Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
contact Amerisurv


Trimble Announces
Alloy RTN Receiver

press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content


News Feeds

Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.


Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 



The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-695-1538 - fax