About Us

The Mt. Diablo Surveyors Historical Society was founded in October 1990, with an initial membership of eight Land Surveyors. The society is a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation, incorporated on April 2, 1991 and organized under IRS 501(c) (3) guidelines. The Society is governed by a Board of 5 Directors pursuant to Articles of Incorporation (see in HTML  or in PDF) in accordance with Society Bylaws adopted on October 2, 1991 (see in HTML - or in PDF)

The Society membership is committed to preserving the artifacts and records of land surveyors who have worked in and around or have been influenced by the Mount Diablo Meridian located in Contra Costa County in Northern California. To this end, the Mt. Diablo Surveyors Historical Society is accumulating equipment, records, photographs and any documents, which represent and support this endeavor. The Society's founders are all present-day noted surveyors who have exerted tremendous effort to keep the Society's goals in the public eye.

These efforts include display booths at surveying conferences hosted by the California Land Surveyors Association, Nevada Association of Land Surveyors and California State University, Fresno Geomatics Conference. They also include public service projects, special events at local parks and museums, and displays at public buildings. The Society is also accumulating a building fund in order to purchase or build a suitable display facility for the artifacts, which have been donated or purchased. The money for the building fund is raised through our annual raffle, donations and memberships dues.

To date, we have been able to acquire a two-construction foreman's trailers to store our “treasures” and are looking for a long-term site with electricity for equipment storage. If you know of a site or can suggest one on the east side of San Francisco Bay, please contact us.

Major donations to date have been some of the instruments and papers of Albert J. Givan, R.C.E. 1, an original member of the California Engineer's Licensing Board; the records of John A. Mancini, R.C.E. 1592; Leroy Martin, P.L.S. 2578 and R.C.E. 7996 which also include the records of Thomas B. Russell, C.E. and Robert H. Goodwin, R.C.E. 473.

The society was instrumental in the placement of the bronze plaque commemorating the establishment in 1851 of the Mt. Diablo Initial Point by Leander Ransom of the General Land Office (G.L.O.) (Now the Bureau of Land Management or BLM) and its recovery in 1984 by John W. Pettley, P.L.S. while he was a student at California State University, Fresno.

The Society's treasures are presently being stored in various locations thanks to the generosity of public agencies with space. But because the locations are not readily available for public viewing or use. When a building has been acquired, it is the society's goal to convince retired surveyors to donate time as docents and caretakers, allowing for proper public access. To make this dream a reality, the society needs members, donors and corporate sponsors. If you are not a member, please join. If your firm has old instruments or artifacts just gathering dust in a closet, please consider donating them. This will make you feel good and provide for a tax write-off. Your firm might also wish to make a corporate donation to the building fund. Gifts are acknowledged and memorialized in the societies newsletter, and identified on the artifact.

How to Contact Us

For more information on membership or donations, please write to the Society's secretary c/o: 5042 Amethyst Court, San Jose, Calif. 95136-2601 or Email to mailbox@mdshs.org.

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MDSHS is a California non-profit corporation organized under
IRS 501(c)3 (Federal #8916806802, CA 1835904).
Website designed and maintained by Jennifer Pettley.
Copyright 2000, 2007 MDSHS.