The selection of this volcanic butte 20 miles from Boise City as the Initial Point for a survey of the Idaho Territory in 1867 was due to the isolation of its prominence, and that it was far enough west that the meridian would extend northward through the narrow panhandle of the territory all the way to the Canadian border. Today the mound is due south of the town of Meridian, and is topped with a viewing platform reachable via a rough dirt road. Due to the prominance and isolation of the location, it is often vandalized.
The Initial Point viewing platform was built in 1962 by a consortium that included the BLM, the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers, and the county. A marble column was also constructed and inscribed with a text describing the history of the Initial Point. Over the following years the column and other parts of the monument, including the official brass discs, were defaced, shot up, spray painted, or stolen. In 1990, the site was cleaned up and re-dedicated, but by 1996 the new plaques were stolen and the site shot up again. The current Initial Point disc was set into the concreted floor of the platform by the BLM in 2008.
The Initial Point butte rises 170 feet above the surrounding plain.
The access road to the butte lines up with the western baseline.
The latest marker in the concrete pad, from 2008.
The name of the butte is Initial Point.
The Initial Point was used to survey all of Idaho.