SOUTH BEND, Ind.
(AP) - A yearslong effort to establish an official boundary between Indiana
and Michigan is getting underway.
Indiana-Michigan Boundary Line Commission has agreed to seek quotes for
survey work from Mile 0, which starts at Lake Michigan, to Mile 20, in St.
Joseph County, Indiana.
The work is part of
an effort to clear up the 105-mile border between the two states, which has
been anyone’s guess for the better part of two centuries.
government-recognized line between the two states is based off wooden stakes
driven into the ground by Eleazer Kendrick in 1827. But most of those stakes
have disappeared over the years, blurring the exact location of the border
that stretches from southern Lake Michigan to northwestern Ohio.
hiked through woods, marshes and grasslands and searched lakes and streams
for the stakes, but they’ve only found a handful over the years.
Surveyors from both
states began started talking to lawmakers about the need to install new,
permanent markers and re-establish the border in 2008. The result is the
commission, which has enlisted surveyors from five Indiana counties and five
Michigan counties to begin resurveying the border and marking it with cement
and metal monuments.
The work is
scheduled to be done by July 2018. About $400,000 has been appropriated over
the next two years for the work.
surveyor in Indiana’s St. Joseph County, said the boundary is pretty close
now but could be off in spots. The uncertainty could lead to problems when
it comes to assessments and taxes.
“I was asked by a
judge once to testify in a court case where someone was shot on State Line
Road,” McNamara told the South Bend Tribune. “I had to testify on what side
of the state line he was shot on.”
along the border have expressed concern over the years that the effort to
mark the official boundary could change their state of residence.
McNamara said they
“We’re not going to
tell someone that you live in Michigan when you live in Indiana,” he said.
the survey process are expected to resume in June.