Property Marker Found With A Metal Detector, In Cape Elizabeth, Maine

  • from Old Orchard Beach (Maine, United States)

On Tuesday evening, April 9th, I received a call from Angie. She and her husband, Adrian, had purchased a home in Cape Elizabeth, last fall. They now wanted to put a fence up, in their backyard. The fence would run from the back right side of the property, to the back left side of the property, only. No fence would be put up alongside the home, or in the front. Unfortunately, they were unsure where the exact property line was, in the backyard. They had been quoted $3000.00 for a survey of the property, but if we could find the markers, they could save the $3000.00. They had a map of the property, showing the distances between the property markers but were not exactly sure how to start.

Now, property markers can be tricky because of many different factors. Are they even made of metal? There are lots of granite and rock property markers, here in New England.

I once was called to search for property markers, when a neighbor was caught, moving them. All I found was a lot, and I mean a lot of nails.

Another time, I searched for 4 property markers, finding just two. The other two, had been moved or washed downstream, in a flood, which also changed the direction of the stream. The same flood caused road damage and a new culvert was put in, either moving the marker or burying it, with all the fill that was used for the new culvert. I also know that people have removed property markers, because they were in the way, when mowing the lawn. So, as you see, property markers may be a hit or miss proposition.

I arrived at Angie and Adrian’s home promptly at 8:00 am. I was told that a neighbor had a property survey performed , a few years back and the neighbor had a property marker put in, on the left backside of the backyard. As we walked to the right backside of the property, Adrian also showed me a granite marker, in the ground, on the left front side of their home. Adrian was not sure if it was an actual property marker or not. Once we arrived at the right backside of the property, Adrian told me that the telephone pole on the far side of the property, was supposed to line straight up, to the right backside property marker. As I lined up the telephone pole, to close to the street, where the right backside marker should be, I received a strong Ferrous signal, on my Minelab CTX-3030 metal detector. After digging the target m it turned out to be a rather large and old nail. As I started swinging again, I received another strong Ferrous signal, less than a foot from the nail. I dug the target and SUCCESS, we had found the metal rod property marker. I then told Adrian, that I would like to measure the distance between the property marker, I just found and the granite marker, on the right front side of the house. The distance should be 103.67’. I then secured one one of my 300’ tape measure and walked it down, from the granite marker, to the metal rod marker, I had just found. When I looked at the measurement, I had to smile, as the measurement was exactly what it was suppose to be, 103.67’. We just verified the granite marker was, in fact their property marker, for the right front of the house.

I then wanted to measure from the marker, I had found, to the marker that the neighbor had put in a few years back, and near the telephone pole. The measurement should be 207.87’. As I arrived at the neighbors marker, near the telephone pole, I looked at the tape measure and we had another match. The measurement was 207.87’, just like it was suppose to be. Now, just one more marker.

I walked the tape measure down to the left front of the house, from the neighbors marker, in the back left of the property. The measurement should be 103.67’ and when I got to 105 feet, I stopped and started searching, with my metal detector. I found another 5-6 nails, but no marker, in the area, it should have been. The area has been disturbed, as there is a culvert, telephone pole, looking fairly new. There is also a rock wall that looks fairly new and could have been built over the marker.

Angie and Adrian were extremely pleased that I was able to find their one metal rod properly marker and then measure it out, to the known neighbors marker and the granite marker, in the left front of the property. They can now use the $3000.00 they didn’t spend on a property survey and put it towards their new fence. 

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