Public Land Survey System

Saint Stephens Meridian

The Saint Stephens Principal Meridian was first surveyed in 1805 under the direction of Deputy Surveyor Isaac Briggs. Lying in 88°02’W longitude, it extends northwards through Saint Stephens, Alabama to 33°06’20”N latitude, and southwards to Mobile Bay. It controls all PLSS surveys in the southern half of Alabama and the southeastern corner of Mississippi—known as the Pearl District. The Initial Point of the Saint Stephens meridian is located along the 31st parallel on a pre-existing monument known as the Ellicott Stone in southern Alabama. A principal base line was run east and west of the initial point so as to remain coincident with the 31st parallel.