Georgia-Tennessee Border Marker MissingAugust 24, 2009 - 10:06 AM | by: David Lewkowict
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that a volunteer at nearby State Line Cemetery noticed the stone was missing after investigating some vandalism at the cemetery.
While most might say they know where the state line is, the controversial stone was incorrectly placed 200-years ago, and is now at the center of a renewed dispute over water rights to the Tennessee River.
The Camak Stone was placed by a surveyor in 1826 to mark the border between Georgia and Tennessee at what he thought was the 35th parallel.
The Camak Stone gained recognition after a 2008 article in “American Surveyor” claimed it had been placed in the wrong spot and denied Georgia a portion of the Tennessee River. Bart Crattie, who penned the article, says the maker may have been taken by a relic hunter.
“There’s a huge market for surveying relics,” he said. “I’ll bet you it’s on eBay.”
Crattie’s article let the Georgia Legislature to empower Governor Sonny Perdue (R-GA) to negotiate with Tennessee to correct the state line. Tennessee refused.
Recent court rulings in Georgia’s water dispute with Florida and Alabama have created urgency for the State to negotiate with Tennessee. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled Georgia must stop taking drinking water from Lake Lanier in three years.
Republican Georgia state Sen. Judson Hill called on lawmakers t0 explore agreements to get Tennessee River water or move the border north.
Tennessee state Sen. Andy Berke, a Chattanooga Democrat said, “They have a serious problem, and they’re not going to fix it by talking about border disputes. They need to be talking about land use and water conservation.”
Bert Brantley, spokesman for Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue said state officials had nothing to do with the stone’s disappearance.
“There’s been no directive by the governor’s office to do anything like that,” he said. “You don’t need a survey to know the line is in the wrong place.”