Ascent of Clermont County High Point on 2011-07-14

Climber: John Hasch

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, July 14, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Clermont County High Point
    Elevation:984 ft / 299 m

Ascent Trip Report

980+ ft.
Not Yet Posted to

Thursday, 7/14/2011

Of all the counties visited on this expedition, Clermont County is the most interesting because my findings challenge previous understandings. Please read the narrative below and teach me how the CoHP community resolves such matters.

I set my GPS to the location of the Day residence as described in excellent detail by Bob Schwab. I drove SE past No. 9 Road (Garner Road) and spied the neat residence on my right. I pulled into the drive and parked near the barn, believed to be in Brown County. I then (presumably) strode across the county line into Clermont County to the house and one of the county’s HP candidates at 975+ ft. I knocked at the first front door. Getting no answer, I moved to the second front door a bit farther to the NW. There was some strategy involved in the move as it enabled me to step on the highest ground my eyes spied in the front yard. I noted the script “D” on the front of the house, presumably identifying the property as still in the hands of the Day family.

The second time I knocked at the second door, a man poked his head out of the first door. I walked back to that door and introduced myself, including a description of my quest as a HP’er who wanted to visit the highest land in Clermont County. Included in the discussion was reference to the topo map that showed the county line crossing through his property.

At this point, he stopped me and insisted that his property was entirely in Clermont County. The county line, he said, crossed the road a bit farther to the SE. He mentioned a change in the pavement at that location as well as a sign announcing the change in counties. I asked if his entire property, including home and outbuildings, was taxed by Clermont County. He said yes. I thanked him for his time and walked back to my car.

Before proceeding to contour #2, I decided to investigate his claims. I drove SE to the next property on the south side of the road, indisputably in Brown County. I turned around and returned to a small parking lot on the north side of the road, later found to be the parking lot for the Bot Wilderness Area.

Returning to the road on foot, I walked a short distance NW to two signs I found on the north side of the road. The two signs read “Welcome to Clermont, Clermont County Engineer, Patrick J. Manger, P.E., P.S.,”, and “Clermont County 4-H Clubs Welcome You”. I also noted the change in pavement mentioned by (Mr. Day). Thus, this seemed a likely candidate for the county line crossing of the road.

The road in this stretch is very straight, so I laid my topo map on the ground with the map of the road pointing in the same direction as the physical road. With no traffic to challenge me, I set my compass on the map and oriented its settings so that the top of the compass faced the direction of the road and the direction of travel faced in the direction of the county line depicted on the topo. With this setting, I was confident I could find the direction of the county line no matter where I was standing. This would come in handy later. The direction of travel pointed NE but into some woods, so I could not see where it was pointing with regard to contour #2.

I then drove to Garner Road, turned right, and proceeded NE to Goodwin Road. I drove all the way NW to the bend near the woods on Goodwin Road, turned around, and returned to a parking spot near the intersection with Garner Road. I parked here, intending to follow my eyes across the sod farm and into the soy field beyond.

In the sod field, a man was driving his tractor and mowing the grass in this immense field. As I headed deeper into his field, he drove his tractor over to me, and we chatted for a bit. Fortunately, he was a friendly man. I told him of my purpose for being there, and I showed him my topo maps. I asked if he knew where the county line was, and he told me it crossed his property on a diagonal. He then pointed NE to a large clump of growth in his field. The clump was near Goodwin Road and near the line where the sod field turned into soy beans. He also told me he thought there was some kind of monument found alongside Garner Road. I wondered if a similar monument could be found on Goodwin Road. I told him of my plan to walk to the clump and investigate that area. Hearing no objections, we parted ways; I set out walking NE, and he went back to mowing.

To my pleasure, when I arrived at the clump, I found a concrete monument along the south side of Goodwin Road a short distance away. The concrete held a circular disk similar to those set by the USGS, but this one said “Clermont County Engineer 408“. Similar to other places, the pavement also changed at this location, and I felt good that this marked the county line. I took several pictures of the monument, the road surface, and the clump.

The topo shows Goodwin Road as “Templin Road”, and it shows a long, private drive leading back to a residence. The topo shows the intersection of this drive with Templin Road to be clearly in Brown County. However, based on the monument I found and looking at the compass settings I had previously fixed, the intersection is in Clermont County while the majority of the property is in Brown County.

Of greatest importance is the fact that a 980’ contour lies just SW of this intersection. This region nearest Goodwin Road needs to be investigated because I believe it is the SINGLE highest contour in Clermont County. On my way back to my car, I went into the field to talk again with the tractor driver. I told him that I had indeed found a monument along Goodwin Road, and I pointed it out in case he wanted to visit it himself. I once again thanked him for his assistance.

My investigation continued. Back at my car, I drove to the corner and turned SW on Garner Road. I wanted to find the first monument described by the tractor guy. A short time later, I spied a green road sign on my right that said “Wayne Township”, suggesting I was entering a new township. Seeing a change in the pavement, I parked in the narrow road, turned my blinkers on, and set out to find the monument. I first walked through the brush and into the adjoining field. I was pleased to find that my compass bearings pointed the county line roughly at the clump I had just visited. I walked along the field side of the brush for awhile just in case the monument was to be found on that side of the growth. Finding nothing, I passed back through and onto the road surface. I walked back toward my car.

You know I was excited when I looked down into the grassy growth and spied something. There it was! I saw a monument that looked identical to the one I found on Goodwin Road. This one was marked “Clermont County Engineer 409”. Once again, I looked at my compass settings and was pleased to find that the direction of travel pointed me generally at the clump on Goodwin Road.

I do not know how often topo maps draw the county lines at the wrong places. But this time, I believe an error has been made. I believe the county line runs in the same direction as shown on the topo map, but the true county line needs to be translated about 400-500 ft to the east. Looking at the topo map, the county line actually crosses Garner Road near the “R” in Garner, and it crosses Templin Road near the “R” in Road. As hoped, this location also extends to reasonably cross Woodville Road in the area of the Bot Wilderness parking lot. The Day family has been shown to be correct when they state their property is entirely in Clermont County.

My investigation was not yet done. When I got back home, I got on the internet and was pleased to find that both Clermont County and Brown County have online public GIS mapping systems. Both GIS systems confirm a county line that lies in the general location described above. As a result, I believe it is no longer necessary to visit the Day property; a visit to the farm field and its 980’ contour should be sufficient to claim the Clermont County highpoint.

Is this narrative enough to confirm a change in the county highpoint location, or is other supporting evidence needed? I welcome all questions, comments, criticisms, or other valuable input.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
A perfect day

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