OR and WA HISTORY YOU SHOULD KNOW
So the surveyor general went out and put a stick in the ground and then told some other guys to do the work. Sounds like a pretty sweet gig if you can get it. 😏
Left unsaid is the work that must have gone into figuring out a spot that would keep the base line south of the Columbia River and the meridian west of Vancouver Lake, and all the while having the meridian run south down the Willamette Valley floor for nearly a hundred miles before striking off into the mountains. You can't just stand on the spot, or any spot near it, and see that. The location was selected within a few months of Preston's arrival in the Oregon territory. It must have been a very busy few months. And it's not like he could just place a craigslist ad and hire up competent field crews just like that.
And all the while the place is teaming with settlers anxious to perfect their claims. In most places the (non-native) settlement was sparse to non-existent when the surveyors arrived to lay out their townships and sections. In this case the area had been settled beginning 26 years before he arrived and things were getting pretty far advanced. The City of Portland had been founded 5 years before that.
So maybe he didn't do a lot of the field work himself. But that doesn't mean that he didn't have his hands full.
If other meridians are feeling left out, you can explore your initial point in this book, https://www.powells.com/book/initial-points-of-the-rectangular-survey-2221114631373 or maybe via this link, https://www.blm.gov/or/gis/geoscience/geosciencespublications.php
Mr. White used to live next door to my cousins when we were kids. When I first started out in the profession my old boss would drag me the PLSO chapter meetings. Al was there and when he realized who I was let everyone know what a little hellion I was. I'm sure he confused me with my cousins since I was such an angle. Just ask my mom.
how did they survey out of this?
And you want me to go to Spokane from here? 66 feet at a time? With a solar compass?
In Nebraska, we used the 6th Principal Meridian: