The Corner

Omnicompetent Government at Work

Quick! If you leave now, you might be able to be one of the first tourists — rather one of the first 20 million or so — to actually stand in the right place:

Readings show Four Corners marker off by 2.5 miles

Tourists who want to put a hand or foot in each of four states at the Four Corners area are apparently off the mark — by about 2.5 miles.

According to readings by the National Geodetic Survey, the Four Corners marker showing the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is about 2.5 miles west of where it should be.

Update: A spoilsport reader who’s never heard the phrase “too good to check” send this:

Hi Jonah,

I did some surveying work about 20 years ago to help pay for college (or more honestly, to spend summer days outside). I therefore find the claim dubious.  In fact, someone mentions in the wikipedia Four Corners entry that:

’News stories from April of 2009 indicated that more recent surveys had determined that the intersection of the corners was not where it was intended to be.[1][2] However, the news stories did not account for the offset between the modern reference, the Prime Meridian, and the 32nd meridian west from Washington, derived from the Washington meridian, that was used by congress at the time for defining the boundaries of Colorado.[3] In addition, general U.S. land principles,[4] law,[5] and the Supreme Court[6] have determined that the location of the monument is the legal corner of the four States.’

I think it’s in the right place.  Looking at Google Earth image (with light white lines indicating state lines), it looks pretty close.

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