Jun 29, 2008
LINEBORO, MARYLAND: MASON-DIXON CROWNSTONE
Who would have guessed that the Mason-Dixon marker in our midst is one of several crown-stones brought over here as a ballast in a ship? Charles II of England sent two surveyors (Mason and Dixon) to America, in 1763, to settle the question of boundary lines between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Once they finished “slashing their way through primeval forests and encounters with American Indians who weren’t especially hospitable, Mason and Dixon finished their task of defining the boundaries. Every mile of the Mason-Dixon Line was marked with a stone, but every fifth mile the surveyors erected special ‘crown-stones.’ Opposite sides of the five foot stones were carved with the coats of arms of the Penn and Calvert families, leaving no doubt about who controlled which side. The dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania was now settled. The Mason-Dixon Line soon became important for another reason as it represented the boundary between the North and South, between free states and slave.”
After reading the article titled Mason, Dixon Made Mark in Carroll in The Carroll County Times this past Sunday—written by Mary Ann Ashcraft, our library volunteer for the Historical Society of Carroll County—I jogged down to the marker, which is about two miles from my house. I've stopped and looked at the marker in the past, but this time I took a closer look. According to Ashcraft, this marker is one of the five-mile crown-stones, so I slipped my hands between the bars to feel for the coats of arms since I couldn’t see it. There is a faint, raised spot on the surface of the marker, nothing more. Even though bars are erected around the marker to protect it from vandalism, it seems that nothing could protect it from time and Mother Nature.