Geographical Center of North America
In January 1931, an U.S. Geological Survey determined the center of North America in Pierce County. The Survey Bulletin Number 817 states:
“The geographic center on an area may be defined as that point on which the surface of the area would balance if it were a plane of uniform thickness, or in other words the center of gravity of the surface.
The triangular station is the reference point for all property lines and city, county, State and international boundaries on the North American Continent that are tied to the national triangulation network of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. This triangulation station is the base point of origin of geodetic positions and directions in the triangulation net of the United States because it is at the junction of the main east-west transcontinental triangulation arc stretching from the Atlantic to the pacific Coast and the main north-south arc, which follows approximately the 98th meridian from the Canadian border to the Rio Grande. The following position should be considered as approximations only.
North America Continent: Latitude 48° 21’ 19" longitude 99 59 57 West
The center is marked with a monument or cairn that is pyramid form in shape. It is 21 feet high, 6 feet wide at its base, and setting on a heart shaped foundation. It was built across the highway, Northwest of its present location, by W.B. Paterson and E.B. Paterson with the assistance from local Boy Scouts and other young men in the community. The Rugby Lions Club donated cement and other materials used in the construction. It was completed in August 1932.
It remained at that location until July 1971 when Highway 2 was four laned, and its location was becoming a frontage road. At that time it was moved to its present location on the southeast corner of the intersection of Highway 2 & 3. In 1955, work was done to beautify the area around the monument with a rock garden welcoming you, an information board, and three new flagpoles representing each of the countries making up North America. (Canada, United States, and Mexico)
Photo from 1961
postcard from 1960