Term: The Point of Beginning (Historic Marker Erected 1969)
Hwy. 80 at the WIżIL State Line, S of Hazel Green, Grant County
Late in 1831, when Wisconsin was still in Michigan Territory, at a point 45 chains (2,970 feet) east of here, Lucius Lyon, United States Commissioner on the survey of the Wisconsin-Illinois border, built a mound six feet square at the base and six feet high to mark the intersection of the border and the 4th principal meridian. From this point all Wisconsin public land surveys began, including sixteen townships in Southwestern Wisconsin which Lyon surveyed in 1832 and 1833. Lyon was completing these surveys which opened Wisconsin to legal settlement by white men when he was nominated Michigan Territory's delegate to Congress. The mound he built on this border disappeared long ago but every surveyor's monument in the state, the borders of all townships and counties, the locations of villages and cities, the position of roads, lakes and streams-all were determined and mapped from lines and distances measured from this point of beginning.
[Source: Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]