Sunday, January 13, 2013

Baseline Road

Years ago, when they were dividing up the Northwest Territory of which Michigan is a part, a line was drawn across  the widest part of Southern Michigan. This was the baseline. From there, the whole state would be platted into one mile sections which would further be subdivided into parcels and then numbered. Anyone who owns land in Michigan has a survey that identifies the exact section based on this subdivision devised almost 200 years ago. Six  by six  mile sections would make a township

This baseline forms the northern boundary of many of Michigan's counties. In SE Michigan, Baseline Road is known as 8 mile which used to divide the haves from the have nots. It's becoming more blurred now.

I grew up between 10 Mile and 10 and A Half Mile. The latter has been renamed.  When I was a kid, it was a dirt two lane road that was regularly coated with a slippery carcinogenic coating of used motor oil to keep the dust down. It now is a 4 lane paved boulevard with bike lanes.

The most northern mile road  see on the map is 37 mile. In many sections, local communities have renamed their  'mile' roads. My favorite is 16 mile; in some sections it is either Metropolitan, Big Beaver, Quarton, Walnut Lake or Buno.

The other night, I was going by the assumption that 8 mile and Baseline are the same, which is true for most of SE Michigan. However there is a one mile stretch that they part. We went back and forth on 8 mile looking for our target that actually was on Baseline. Live and learn.

Spring in winter is over though it still is comfortable to run and the ice has not reformed. Waiting impatiently for real spring.

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