AZ Land Surveying Company, Arizona Land Surveyor

Arizona Land Surveyor
AZ Land Surveying

Phone: (623) 414-9571 - (602) 788-9520

This weeks Land Surveyor's Look at Arizona's Past...

Chapter 40 Land Surveyor Weekly From #02: Arizona proper, or the Gadsden Purchase, is that part of our frontier -which has the Rio Grande and the Colorado Rivers for its eastern and western, and the Gila River and Mexican boundary-line for its northern and southern limits. It thus extends over both slopes of the Sierra Madre, which here loses its continuous character, giving rise to almost unconnected mountain groups. It is also traversed from N.W. to S.E. by granitic sierras seldom over seventy to ninety miles in length, and distant from each other from twenty to forty miles. This configuration gives rise to a most remarkable occurrence of parallelism.

The intervals between these ranges are plains, having a gradual descent from the sierras on either side. In the western part of the Territory, where but little rain falls, water-courses are very rare, and the surface of these tracts is almost unbroken; but in the central portion, near the larger mountains, they present the appearance of extensive valleys, and are cut up by river beds and frequent tributary canons. These plains are all connected, and form members of the immense quaternary deposits, extending from the Gulf of California eastward, water-courses are very rare, and the surface of these tracts is almost unbroken ; but in the central portion, near the larger mountains, they present the appearance of extensive valleys, and are cut np by river beds and frequent tributary canons. These plains are all connected, and form members of the immense quaternary deposits, extending from the Gulf of California eastward.

The quaternary formation is stratified, and composed of both rounded and angular rocks, with pebbles and sand, the detritus of the neighboring mountains and the underlying formations. A gradual and regular descent of the surface of the whole quaternary area toward the Gulf of California and the Colorado River is perceptible, showing that there has been a gradual elevation extending over a large area, and probably during a long lapse of time. That this upheaval is of very recent date is proven by the presence of existing species of marine shells scattered over the surface.

As I have already said, the majority of the mountain ranges are granitic, but we find in many places, and especially those where the parallelism is disturbed, extensive representations of other formations. Usually, outcroppings of gneiss, micaceous, talcose, and clay slates are observable, underlying the quaternary at the base of the granitic ranges. In many places the plains consist entirely of the detritus of these rocks, showing that they extend from mountain to mountain. Toward the Gulf of California these slates are accompanied by metamorphic limestone, and often appear forming independent ridges, or inclined against the higher granite hills. They form the gold region of Sonora, and are probably of the same age as the similar formations of California, of which, indeed, they seem to be the continuation. We find them rising out of the desert, at intervals, from Sonora to the Gila River and the Colorado, and again underlying the tertiary on the western skirt of the Colorado desert, and at various points in Southern California.

About The Historical Texts

Following is the list of uncopyrighted publications used for the History of Arizona and the Southwest. All can be easily found on-line in PDF format. Sorted by publication date they are:

  1. The Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona - 1857 | By Sylvester Mowry
  2. Arizona and Sonora - 1863 | By Sylvester Mowry
  3. The Territory of Arizona_1874 | By Arizona Legislative Assembly
  4. Resources of Arizona - 1881 | By Arizona Legislative Assembly
  5. The History of Arizona and New Mexico, Volume 17 - 1889 - (Arizona Portion) | By Hubert Howe Bancroft
  6. Titan of Chasms the Grand Canyon - 1906 | By C.A. Higgins, J.W. Powell, Chas.F.Lumins
  7. Reminiscences of a Soldiers Wife - 1907 - (Arizona Portion) | By Ellen McGowan Biddle
  8. The First Through the Grand Canyon - 1915 | By Major John Wesley Powell
  9. The History of Arizona, Volume 1 - 1915 (starting Chapter VII) | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  10. The History of Arizona, Volume 2 - 1915 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  11. The History of Arizona, Volume 3 - 1916 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  12. The History of Arizona, Volume 4 - 1916 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  13. The History of Arizona, Volume 5 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  14. The History of Arizona, Volume 6 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  15. The History of Arizona, Volume 7 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  16. The History Of Arizona, Volume 8 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  17. Arizona the Wonderland - 1917 | By George Wharton James
  18. The Story of Arizona - 1919 | By Will H. Robinson

The majority of the publications listed here were written with the intent to be historically accurate. This is not an attempt to make a point of historical fact by providing this information. It is intended to simply share what is documented about the American Southwest, primarily on the Arizona Territorial area.

There are no living people to speak for the time period related here. We must use recorded information to look into that era. The point-of-view of today is different from those living then. The intent here is not to provide an opinion. If one spends time reading the material listed, it will be enlightening as to life in the untamed Territory of Arizona as it was in the minds of the people of at that era.

Regarding the stories of the all of people in the Territory of Arizona it can bring out all emotions. From sympathy to anger and sadness to admiration, you will feel something. It is difficult to imagine what it would be like to be living here, or traveling through, at different times in the past. It is hopeful that all will find a least find some amusement looking through the window of the past provided here.

A little about the Arizona Land Surveyors of yester-year

It was a rough life for the Land Surveyor of yester-year. The Survey party that was sent out then consisted of a large crew. Usually between 5-7 men. There was a head Land Surveyor along with a couple of Land Surveyor trainees which pulled the chain. The chain was an actual 66 foot long chain, with 100 links, used to measure distance. It looks similar to what holding the flags at the base of the page. There were laborers to help clear trees and brush out of the way. Given the crude equipment of the time, it is amazing how accurate some of the old Land Surveyor's measurements were.

Land Surveying in Arizona Started in 1866. From a report in 1867 by Joseph S. Wilson, Commissioner of the General Land Office : "A contract was entered into with Deputy Surveyor William H. Pierce on the 15th day of December, 1866, for the survey in Arizona of 96 miles of the Gila and Salt River Meridian; 36 miles of the base line and standard and exterior township boundary lines, to amount in the aggregate to a sum not exceeding $7,500. Mr. Pierce completed the survey of the meridian from the initial corner north 24 miles, the base line from the same corner east 36 miles, and the first standard parallel north along the south boundary of township 5 north, east 42 miles, and west 42 miles, when the military protection which had been furnished him was withdrawn, and he was compelled to quit the field, the Indians infesting the country, rendering it unsafe and impracticable to continue the work without military escort. At his request, and by your order, Mr. Pierce has been released from further obligation to prosecute the work under his contract."


Peek at our Arizona Land Surveyors weekly Look into the Past of Arizona...

Chapter 40 Land Surveyor Weekly From #02: Arizona proper, or the Gadsden Purchase, is that part of our frontier -which has the Rio Grande and the Colorado Rivers for its eastern and western, and the Gila River and Mexican boundary-line for its northern and southern limits. It thus extends over both slopes of the Sierra Madre, which here loses its continuous character, giving rise to almost unconnected mountain groups. It is also traversed from N.W. to S.E. by granitic

.........Continue to complete Chapter of our Arizona Land Surveyors weekly.