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Initial Point Chapter Presents Buffalo Trace-Wilderness Road Surveyor's Rendezvous 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: David J. Ruckman, PLS, David R. Blankenbeker, PLS
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This fall, October  13th, 14th and 15th 2017, the Initial Point Chapter of the Indiana Society of Professional  Land Surveyors will host a Surveyor’s Rendezvous at the Site of the George Rogers Clark Cabin, Clarksville, Indiana. The cabin is the site where General Clark spent part of his life after the Revolutionary War. Clarksville, being the first settlement of the northwest Territory, is also the location where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark met to organize their famous exploration of the Western Lands. 

           “In Honor of Land Surveyors and Ancient Footpath Trails, whereupon the First Human Families 12000 years past, followed Animal Trails and arrived at the Devonian Age Uplifted Limestone Falls of the Ohio, where at the Middle America Mother Earth Ohio River churns, as it  rapidly descends across the fossilized face of this Ancient resting place of fishes and shells, exposing us to Mother Nature’s creation of a Natural Stone Bridge, linking Louisville, Kentucky to Clarksville, Indiana, we LAND SURVEYORS will gather there and promote the ART of Land Boundary Surveying.”  David J. Ruckman


The Initial Point Chapter and others such as the esteemed Randy Miller, PLS, embraced the idea of hosting a Rendezvous where interested surveyors could gather to learn and reflect on those days over 200 years ago. 

           A Historic Gathering of Land Surveyors is planned at the Buffalo Trace Wilderness Road Crossing of the Ohio River, Clarksville, Indiana. The Falls of the Ohio creates a link of Ancient Footpath Trails from the Atlantic Ocean up through the Carolina’s and Tennessee, crossing into Kentucky at the Daniel Boone Cumberland Gap of the Appalachians Mountains, flowing through the inspiring Bluegrass  along Kentucky’s Wilderness Road to arrive at The Falls Of the Ohio; thence marching West into and across Indiana, known as the Indiana Buffalo Trace; thence plunging into the shallow rock shoal crossing of the Wabash River at Vincennes, whereat this ANCIENT TRACE becomes the Illinois Buffalo Trace as it tracks across the vast Illini grasslands to St. Louis;  thence onto Kansas City whereat the TRACE forks and becomes the Oregon Trail and the Santa Fe Trail. Literally thousands of Surveyors walked or rode this Footpath to their destiny.” David J. Ruckman


This family friendly outdoor event starts at noon on Friday the 13th of October.  Registration will be followed by short, mostly 1 hour, presentations, which will count for continuing education credits for Indiana and hopefully most other states.  It is hoped that the Engineering board will also recognize these for credit for Professional Engineers.  The schedule is set up for mostly 50 minute (1 credit hour) sessions with 30 minutes between them for plenty of time to visit the vendor booths,  share a meal with family and fellow professionals, wander the falls of the Ohio, kayak the River, or just relax.  Sessions end at 5 pm Friday but for those interested, primitive overnight camping is available on-site (by pre-registration only) served by port-o-lets only, no running water or electric.  Bring your own tent or teepee, chairs, grill, bedding, food and drink.  Saturday sessions start at 9 a.m following the same format as Friday, ending around 5 with the exception of a Polaris observation and session by the surveyor turned astronomer, Victor H. McCauley, PLS, that evening.  This will be a 2 hour course for CE credit.  All pre-registered campers are welcome Saturday night as well, although, for many the nearby hotels and full service campground will certainly be the more comfortable choice.  On Sunday, the only agenda item is a boy scout merit badge program led by Randy Miller, P.L.S.  The event will close Sunday around noon or as soon thereafter as the Scouts complete their tasks.

           A very Festive Outdoor Event focused on Education and Recruiting Future Land Surveyors. All proceeds to benefit the Boys Scouts of America. From 1800’s Compass’s, Jacob Staff’s, Chains, tents, TeePee’s, and LeatherStocking Surveyors,  to today’s GPS and Drones -  propelling us into our Hi tech future of Mapping and Boundary Determinations, we, as LAND SURVEYORS  continue to EVOLVE, for it is by Gathering and Sharing we grow strong.  Attendee’s and Camper’s will awaken to mists and Wild River sounds as they attend a weekend of Family camaraderie at Sir George Rogers Clark’s humble Log Cabin overlooking the wide Ohio and the Buffalo Trace. Stories of the exploits of Land Surveyors and American Heroes such as George Rogers Clark will be shared in the evenings at the Gazebo, so bring your best story and enlighten and entertain us.” David J. Ruckman


Special guest speakers include nationally known speaker, Milton Denny, Centenarian Robert Vollmer, local legends David J. Ruckman, Randy Miller, Harold Hart, Randy Smith, David Blankenbeker, Victor H. McCauley, and Ben Shinabery on topics such as surveying history, history of the Buffalo Trace, Clark Co. Surveyor’s office and GIS System, Indian Treaty Boundaries, Surveying in the Grants, Surveying from WW2 to present, Tree Identification and Astronomic observations.


All interested fellow surveyors, engineers, family and friends are welcome to attend.  There is no fee if registered by September 1st, 2017 and continuing education credits will be awarded to those attending seminars.  We ask that you consider a donation to the Boy Scouts of America when you arrive.  The suggested amount is $50, but no amount is too large or too small.  Registration is via email.  Just send your name, address, cell phone and email address to:


For those wishing to camp overnight, or those wishing to be a vendor, please contact David J. Ruckman at


Please consider joining us for a wonderful fall day or weekend at the Falls of the Ohio, where so much history of Indiana began.



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