New Mexico Principal Meridian

The survey of the Territory of New Mexico began in 1855, with the establishment of this Initial Point atop a butte in the central part of the state. The mound was suggested as a site by the Surveyor General of the territory, but it is possible that the Deputy Surveyor commissioned to establish the point did so on a different hill, due to a misunderstanding of his instructions. In any event, the Initial Point was set where it was, on top of the butte, 235 feet above the Rio Grande, and marked by a pile of rocks. 100 years later, in 1956, the scattered stones from the original pile were cross referenced by peripheral monuments (it is standard practice to mark and record fixed points, such as trees and rocks, around important survey points, in case the main marker is lost), and a modern brass BLM survey medallion was affixed into a concrete base in the usual style of the time. No other changes to the site have been made since.

2294CLUI photo.The Initial Point for New Mexico has a simple survey disc in concrete, and four reference markers nearby, all installed in 1956, but no other plaques or monuments. This is the view looking north.

2349All of New Mexico and some of Colorado were surveyed from this Initial Point.