What if I told you that the specifics of our American system of land measurement, with its miles and acres and such, was the direct result of a bunch of oxen standing tired in a field during a morning’s plowing more than a thousand years ago. Would you believe me? Read on.
If you peruse historical documents pertaining to the great Adirondack surveys you will encounter a variety of measurement units. Some, like feet and miles, will be common knowledge to you. Others, like acres, will be familiar terms though you may not know precisely what they are. But a few, like the chain, which seems to be the fundamental unit of surveying distance, may well be unknown. Every major land division in the Adirondacks was originally measured in chains using an actual metal chain called a Gunter’s chain. » Continue Reading.