Surveyors rededicate a marker from which the government drew boundaries for reservations.

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What a story a 4-inch bronze cap planted under the pavement of State Route 121 has to tell.

From this spot, the U.S. government drew the boundaries of the 2-million acre Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation, and later sold half the land to white settlers for $1.25 an acre.

So much of the Uintah Basin's bittersweet pioneer history emanated from this point five miles east of the farm village of Neola, and it infused a rededication ceremony here Friday...

... In the 20th century Utah paved Route 121, using the east-west line of the marker -- officially known as the 1875 Uinta Special Meridian -- because it already divided properties. That's when some surveyor stuck a nail in the asphalt marking the meridian below, and left it for posterity to ponder. And on Friday, on a big-sky day that made plain why the original surveyors started their work from a point on these brushy heights in full view of the red bluffs miles distant, white and Indian Utahns alike commemorated a shared heritage.

About 100 members and guests of the Utah Council of Land Surveyors dedicated a roadside monument and placed a new brass cap on the actual meridian point through a new manhole in the westbound lane.

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