Cimarron Meridian

The Cimarron Meridian was the last meridian established as part of the federal land survey in the Lower 48 states. It was created in 1881, in order to survey a federal no-man’s land between Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, an artifact left when Texas reduced its northern extent by half a degree, to fall below the 36 degree 30 minutes line of latitude, which would allow it to be a slave state, at the time Texas joined the Union in 1846. Once surveyed, this region became part of the Oklahoma Territory.

2316 photo from the Institute of Marking and MeasuringThe Initial Point of the Cimarron Meridian and baseline is located along a north/south running fence along the meridian and the border between Oklahoma and New Mexico. The baseline established by this initial point was intended to define the east/west boundary between Texas and what would become Oklahoma, however, due to surveying errors, the official state line runs parallel to it, a few hundred feet south.
 

2364 The panhandle of Oklahoma (in red), a federal no-mans land, and the last piece of unsurveyed federal land in the lower 48 states to be measured for the rectalinear survey system.