Tuesday, July 14. . . .
Retired Professional Surveyor

Keeps History of  Trade Alive

Retired professional surveyor James L. Williams who is also a semi-pro historian, a frequent lecturer, and an author, will speak to the Big Walnut Area Historical Society at 7:30 Tuesday evening, July 14 in the Myers Inn Meeting Room in downtown Sunbury

Williams has lectured at The Virginia Military Institute, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, on the Battlefield at Gettysburg and at Fort Recovery. He is a regular presenter of one day seminars for the County Engineer’s Association of Ohio, the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio and the Surveyor’s Historical Society.

Soon his book, Blazes, Posts & Stones: A History of Ohio’s Original Land Subdivisions is coming to a bookstore near you. Williams’ research began thirty years ago in preparation for a lecture series he was preparing for the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio.

Over the years the wealth of material that was discovered at the Ohio Historical Society grew as well as pertinent material that other surveyors and county engineers shared with him. "Eventually my office was overwhelmed with research. My lectures expanded from three hours in duration to eight hours for the County Engineers Association of Ohio," noted Williams.

Because professional surveyors work with this subject matter every day with regard to land legal descriptions and Ohio’s County Engineers are charged with preserving this material, thus his lectures became very popular around the state.

Jim Williams as Israel Ludlow,
     Surveyor of Delaware County

James Williams at Fort Loramie in 1997, the 200 anniversary of the survey of the Greeneville Treaty Line. He is sporting period attire, has a period surveyor’s compass and chain similar to what Israel Ludlow used to run the Indian Boundary Line for Surveyor General Rufus Putnam.   Incidentally, deputy surveyor Israel Ludlow of Cincinnati made the surveys for what is now Delaware County in 1798.

In 2007 a friend asked what would happen to all this research after Williams dies. He commenced work on the book soon thereafter. Seven years of writing and thirty years of research later, the new book is now ready for the printers. Surveyors, County Engineers, high school history teachers and college history professors have responded quite positively after reading the book.

The talk is open to the public at no cost.

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