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October 7, 2009

Historical marker dedication set at Edisto Environmental Center Oct. 11

A dedication ceremony for the Bache Marker, the southern point of the oldest intact survey line on the Eastern Seaboard, will be held on Sunday, Oct. 11, at 3 p.m. at the Environmental Learning Center at Edisto Beach State Park.
           
The Bache Marker has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The dedication will feature speakers, information on the remarkable mapping feat and refreshments.
           
For more information, call (843) 869-4430 or e-mail agrabman@scprt.com.  The Friends of Edisto Beach State Park and the ACE Basin, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, and Edisto Beach State Park are co-sponsoring the event.
           
Under the direction of Professor Alexander D. Bache, the superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey and great grandson of Benjamin Franklin, the Eastern Seaboard was first accurately mapped in the 1840s.
           
An accurate mapping of the coast was critical to navigational charts to help prevent shipwrecks.  The mapping of the coast was a time-consuming effort that involved identifying points and cutting a straight swath through forests between the points.
           
Bache developed a measuring device called the "bar of invariable length," allowing mapping to take place despite temperature changes.  This device eliminated the long-standing source of mapping inaccuracies in instruments of the time. 

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