The Fairfax Stone & the Deakins Line

Don Teter presents “The Fairfax Stone and the Deakins Line: How West Virginia Put A Whuppin’ On Maryland” at 8:00
p.m. at Blackwater Falls Lodge. Open to the public without cost.

This lively story of history is about the Fairfax Line and Fairfax Stone, including surveyor Peter Jefferson, who helped survey the line (and fathered President Thomas Jefferson), and surveyor and “Father of the Country” George Washington, who didn’t help survey the line, contrary to popular belief and some historical markers.

The location of the Fairfax Stone was established in 1736 and the first monument there was set in 1746. A four acre state park at the stone was dedicated in 1957, and in 1972, the Fairfax Stone was the first Tucker County site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fairfax Stone is a reasonable drive from Blackwater Falls State Park.

The location of the Fairfax Stone was disputed by Maryland from at least 1788, when the Deakins line was first run northward from it to the Mason-Dixon line to mark the boundary between Virginia (now Preston County, West Virginia) and what is now Garrett County, Maryland. The issue came to a head in the 1890s in the United States Supreme Court, and in 1910, the position of the Fairfax Stone was finally confirmed. Along with the stone, the Supreme Court held the skewed, bent and offset Deakins line, thus allowing West Virginia to put a whuppin’ on Maryland and retain control of over 30 square miles of disputed territory.

In 1897, Maryland set the Potomac Stone in Tucker County near the top of Backbone Mountain to bolster its fruitless claim, and Don will wrap up with the tale of how the West Virginia Affiliate of the Surveyors Historical Society sought and found this long forgotten monument in 2012.

To attend this program, you don’t have to be an overnight guest, however, if you care to stay the night at the lodge, cabins or campground, call 304-259-5216. It should be a gorgeous time of year to visit with fall foliage and colors.

Event Details

  • Start Date: September 22, 2018

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