The Seven Ranges Survey

Ohio State Map References, 1887. Image source: Subdivisions of the Public Lands, 1887, p. 93 (derived from Library of Congress) by Jerome S. Higgins is licensed under Public Domain Mark 1.0

Thomas Hutchins (1730–1789), the first Chief Geographer of the United States, in 1785 did a landmark survey of public lands near East Liverpool. Known as the "The Seven Ranges" survey, it became the model for the American rectangular survey system which later was used throughout the West.

The tract of land in Ohio called the Seven Ranges. Image source: Seven Ranges.png (derived from Peters, William E. (1918) Ohio Lands and Their Subdivision, pp. 66) by William E. Peters is licensed under Public Domain Mark 1.0

The Continental Congress was planning ahead, at the time, planning future expansion into Ohio.  Hutchins was hired to plot seven blocks of land called ranges in this new territory. Beginning at the point where the Ohio River reaches Pennsylvania, Hutchins ran a line west 42 miles and then determined north and south lines, resulting in six mile-square checkerboard patterns of land. The Seven Ranges now covers Jefferson, Harrison, Monroe and Belmont counties, and most of Carroll County along with portions of other surrounding Ohio counties. 

Prior to his experience as a surveyor - indeed prior to the American Revolution - Hutchins served in the British army and participated in the French and Indian War. He refused to fight against his fellow Colonists during the Revolution, however, and in 1780 he resigned his commission.

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