Measuring Progress Since 1924

Phone: 503-284-5896

Survey monuments


photo of US Coast and Geodetic Survey markerThere are many kinds of survey markers.

For the property owner there are three you should know about – iron rods, iron pipes and brass screws.

Brass screws were sometimes set in fence footings or walls when said improvement was located on the property corner. Typically, brass screws were set in the sidewalk or curb, along the extension of the property line. A hole would be drilled in the sidewalk. The hole would be filled with a plug of lead and the brass screw set in the lead. Sometimes brass screws will have a brass washer inscribed with either the name of the surveyor or the survey company name. Berntsen survey markers are now used in place of brass screws.

Iron pipes were set at angle points or property corners. They were usually 3/4″ or 1/2″ inside diameter in size. In the good old days Willard Wells and his employes would collect leftovers from the neighborhood plumber to set at property corners. During the late 50’s and 60’s, surveyors switched from iron pipes to iron rods.

Iron rods are 5/8″ in diameter. Some are smooth, but most are rebar. As with iron pipes, rods are set at all angle points and property corners. They are topped with plastic caps inscribed with the name of the surveyor or the name of the company setting the corners.

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Who Is W.B. Wells?

In 1924, after graduating from Stanford University, Willard B. Wells founded W.B. Wells & Assoc. Inc in Portland, Oregon. Willard’s philosophy was to provide a quality product for a reasonable fee. We still follow Willard’s philosophy today.
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