National Register of Historic Places Inventory for North Cascades National Park
excerpts from Nomination Forms National Register of Historic Places Inventory for North Cascades National Park
4. OWNER OF PROPERTY
5. LOCATION OF LEGAL DESCRIPTION
6. REPRESENTATION IN EXISTING SURVEYS
DESCRIBE THE PRESENT AND ORIGINAL (if known) PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
The International Boundary between the United States and Canada is, in the area concerned, on the 49° N. Latitude. The northern boundaries of North Cascades NP and Ross Lake NRS coincide with this boundary. This section of the international boundary begins more or less at 121° 00' W Longitude and ends more or less at 121° 31' 25", where Ensawkwatch Creek crosses the 49th Parallel.
The international boundary runs through forested land and over rocky mountains. In the forested portions a 20-foot wide vista has been cut (10 feet in U.S., 10 feet in Canada). In the area concerned, 17 international boundary monuments, numbering from west to east 58 through 74, stand today. Sixteen of these are cast-aluminum-bronze markers set in concrete. The other, No. 68, on a remote mountain slope, is thought to be a stone cairn.
The international boundary within the park complex is conveniently reached at only two points: 1. By foot or horse along the Chilliwack River Trail, which crosses the boundary at monument No. 63. 2. By boat on Ross Lake, which crosses the boundary between monuments No. 71 and 72.
These monuments were placed in 1906 and 1907. The vistas, etc., are maintained by the International Boundary Commission, United States and Canada.
The original survey and marking in this section were carried out in 1858-60, by an International Boundary Commission, United States and Great Britain. At that time only 8 monuments, former numbers 19 to 60, were erected within the present park. These were pyramids of loose stone. None of these original markers are believed to have survived. At that time, 20-foot vistas were cut only for a distance of 1/2 mile on either side of each marker (where appropriate). Before this original survey, the area was unknown to whites.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The marking of the international boundary across the North Cascades took place at the same time the international boundary in the area of the San Juan Islands, Washington, created a crisis between the United States and Great Britain that for a short time threatened to result in bloodshed. Yet, the American and British Commissioners for the Land Survey succeeded in cooperating and marking the land boundary. Their efforts demonstrated that the two nations had more in common than just a line. Today the 49° Parallel is a part of the long, undefended boundary between the United States and Canada. It is an ever-present reminder that nations can live side by side in harmony.
An important outcome of the boundary survey was the first historic exploration of the heart of the northern portion of the North Cascades National Park and adjacent areas. The reconnaissances of the surveyors in 1856-60 brought the unknown country to the pages of history.
9. MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
International Boundary Commission, Joint Report upon the Survey and Demarcation of the Boundary between the United States and Canada, from the Gulf of Georgia to the Northwestern Boundary of the United States (Washington, GPO, 1937).
Marcus Baker, Survey of the Northwestern Boundary of the United States, 1857-1861, USGS Bulletin No. 174 (Washington, GPO, 1900).
10. GEOGRAPHICAL DATA
11. FORM PREPARED BY
12. STATE LIAISON OFFICER CERTIFICATION/NATIONAL REGISTER VERIFICATION
3. MAP REFERENCE
3. PHOTO REFERENCE
Last Updated: 11-Jun-2008