Surveyors Journal Entry Eight:
Irregular Metes and Bounds Surveying Occurs West of the Scioto
In Franklin County, all land west of the Scioto River was part of the Virginia Military District that was first surveyed into irregular plots by Deputy Surveyors Lucas Sullivant and John Shields to meet the land warrants issued to Revolutionary War veterans. Tracts ranged in size from 100 to 1,500 acres and were divided into unrestricted shapes using the metes and bounds method of describing the land.
Early surveyors in the district often ran crude lines on the ground and marked where they met with the nearest tree instead of setting a boundary monument. They would then estimate two of the three lengths and bearings and calculate them with the third length and bearing, which was measured. Because of these imprecise surveying techniques, property boundaries and titles could be disputed.
Despite the lack of uniformity in measuring the land, the Virginia Military District was eventually divided into the following political subdivisions:
- Franklin Township, including the town of Franklinton (1803)
- Pleasant Township (1807)
- Washington Township (1809)
- Town of Dublin within Washington Township (1810)
- Norwich Township (1813)
- Jackson Township (1815)
- Town of Georgesville within Pleasant Township (1816)
- Prairie Township (1819)
- Brown Township (1830)
- Village of Harrisburg within Pleasant Township (1836)
- Town of Hilliard within Norwich Township (1853)
- Town of Grove City within Jackson Township (1866)
East of the Scioto River, there were three federally designated settlement areas surveyed with the new rectangular system.