Sounds like a whole lot of sandstone

There used to be more survey marker stones all over the City of Warren.

Once upon a time, there were four at each intersection in the city.

We did not perform a detailed count of intersections, but came up with an estimate of 250 — which is a good number to work with when multiplied by four.

According to that estimate, the surveyors who worked in the city in the late 19th century needed a thousand survey marker stones — monuments.

That sounds like a lot of stone.

Each monument is six-inches by six-inches by three feet tall. Four of them add up to 3 cubic feet.

At 3 cubic feet per four markers, 1,000 markers would take 750 cubic feet of stone. That’s about half of a shipping container.

Although typically made of other, more durable, materials, these markers were made of sandstone.

Sandstone is not particularly dense. In fact, it is among the least dense of common types of stone.

Still, a cubic foot would weigh about 145 pounds.

That’s more than 50 tons of sandstone needed for this project.

Sandstone is not uncommon in Warren County, but a list of working quarries in the 1880s is not readily available.

There are sand and gravel producers in Warren County. If the sandstone were locally-sourced, it might have only traveled, let’s say, 12 miles from Pittsfield Township.

There are old sandstone quarries in Butler and Clearfield counties. The distance to Warren from those is closer to 100 miles.

There were railroads in the area around that time, so it’s possible the stone was brought in by rail.

If not, a bunch of animals were put to hard work for many trips to Warren, just for the job of surveying property.


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