KLSS Indepedence Day Special

Canada Left, America Right

Canada Left, America Right

In light of the upcoming fourth of July celebrations, here at KLSS, we’ve decided to kick off our own land surveying themed patriotic festivities. Featured in the History Channel’s How the States Got Their Shapeswe are proud to present to you (drum-roll please) Derby Line, Vermont! 

Total area: ~ 448 acres (a disappointing 0.7 sq miles)

Total population: ~ 670 souls

So what is it about this near vacant village that’s so important we had to share it with you? Fortunately, for the sake of its reputation, Derby Line, Vermont sits square atop the US/Canadian border and is actually the US equivalent of the significantly larger and undeniably more favorable Canadian town of Stanstead, Quebec.


Total area: ~ 8.61 sq miles

Total population: ~ 2,857 souls

If you can’t quite grasp what it means to have an international border divide your town or village, world traveler, Yvette Cendes explains best:

“People who live in the community often have their houses in the USA but enter Canada when they back their car out of the driveway, town meetings are sometimes held in a foreign country, and even the sewage makes a cross-border journey for treatment.”

US left, Canada right

US left, Canada right

Over to the right, you’ll see the inside of the  greatest highlight of Derby Line, it’s Haskell Free building, or as we like to call it, The Little Library That  Also Doubled as an Opera House. As if it’s not enough to have your street bisected by a border line, this structure straddles the US/Canadian boundary and is marked by a carefully painted black line on the floor of the reading room.

Alas, to avoid straying too far from the aforementioned theme, you should now have a pretty good understanding about the importance of land surveying and the potential consequences that result when it is done poorly. After 9/11, the United States government and it’s relative powers (i.e. US Customs and Border Protection) determined that the undocumented border crossings of a village of less than 700 people were a threat to homeland security and for a short period of time began taking steps to shut down some roads until the more reasonable, less costly approach of posting up a few signs threatening a $5,000 fine for undocumented street crossing was decided.

That’s pretty much it for our little Independence Day special and here’s a big happy fourth from Kings Land Surveying!


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