On the eve of the 250 anniversary of the Mason Dixon Line I have been doing a number of talks about the history of this famous boundary. To end a dispute between the Penns and Calvert (the proprietors of the British colonies of Maryland and Pennsylvania) it was surveyed in the 1760s. Delaware was part of Pennsylvania at that time.
While speaking to a group at the Wicomico County Public Library last week and sketching out the details about the work commissioned by the Penns and Calverts, one gentleman had some stories of his own to share. His family, some of the earliest European settlers in the region, own property on both sides of the border. In an old trunk in the attic he located detailed surveys from the era showing the property boundaries and topographical features along the transpeninsular boundary that was drawn before Mason and Dixon arrived in the colonies. It was a fascinating historical document and we had a long enjoyable talk about some of the manuscripts he possessed, as well as some the markers and points along the 325-miler border.
Here are a few modern photos of the famous line that got its start in 1763. Next year, I am scheduled to do a number of additional talks about the line that grew to have popular representations far beyond that associated with a boundary dispute.