Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Where Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio Come to Meet

Steuben County, Indiana   
January 6, 2012

In three states at the same time
Borders are made for snuggling, and some states snuggle for quite some distance. (The nation’s longest border between two states is the Texas-Oklahoma border at 715 miles.) This snuggling can be informal in some border areas where the locale blends the traits of both states into something that can’t be matched elsewhere such as Texarkana and Michiana. However, when three or more states come together, they must meet in a more formal place that comes down to a point.  
Where the borders of three states converge into each other, a tripoint, trijunction, triple point, or trifinium (take your pick) is created. There are 62 state tripoints in the United States with 35 on top of land, 24 walking on water, and three somewhere between water and land. Like visiting as many countries as you can or walking to the top of the highest point in every state, there is a certain allure to standing in three states at the same time. Although they may not number as many as the country baggers or peakbaggers, tripoint baggers have a passion to travel and visit each and every trio of states that come together to meet. Jack Parsell is considered one of the first persons to visit all 38 tripoints located on land, and he even wrote a guidebook called “Tri-State Corners in the United States” to help others who share his passion. No news yet on whether Mr. Parsell has navigated by boat to visit the other 24 tripoints located on water. 

The Indiana - Michigan - Ohio Tripoint

Some tripoints are easy to get to and finding them is just as easy. I had the urge, not yet a passion, to find the tripoint where Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio meet. I was north of Hoosierhio (Hoosier + Ohio) and east of Michiana (Michigan + Indiana) so I knew I must be close to the IN-MI-OH tripoint. I traveled east of Angola, Indiana on US Highway 20, then took a left and then a right and landed at the intersection of East County Road 300 North and Williams County Road 1. My pre-planning alerted me that I was still in Indiana but just across the centerline of the road was Ohio. My pre-planning also told me that this road would lead me to the promised point, and I turned my truck to the left, and north on Williams County Road 1 I went. I actually drove over the tripoint without knowing it, and I thought I went too far when the road turned from pavement to dirt. A change in road maintenance is a sure sign that you have crossed from one government jurisdiction to another. 

By way of Steuben County in Indiana, I soon came to a monument erected by Hillsdale County of Michigan telling me that I was 130 feet north of the place where Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio meet. A short walk along the centerline of the road brought me to a survey monument box surrounded by the paved road. The cover on the box was missing, and ice and water covered any monument that was in the box, but this was the tripoint. Reportedly this modern monument is actually set directly above a 19th century monument that was buried underneath the road. Being a geographical curiosity, I had to stand on top of the survey monument, and I then contemplated my body being in three different states at the same time. For a brief moment, I felt very special since I doubted that no one else in America was in three states like I was at that same exact moment.

Web Links


1 comment: