Land can never be bought OR SOLD , owned without controversy unless it can be described in such a manner that all men AND WOMEN can identify and agree upon exactly where it is located. For that purpose, Florida LAW employs the Township system first adopted by Congress on May 20,1785. The surveyors Colonel Thomas Hutchins and General Rufus Putnam are generally credited with its conception.


The grid is laid out in Township squares six miles on a side. Each is numbered according to its distance from the Meridian and Base Line. The first one north of the Base Line is Township 1 North (or T1N) and so on until the Georgia or Alabama border. The first one south of the Base Line is Township 1 South (T1S). Thus, a column of Townships extends from the northern border of Florida to its southern border. Each such column is given a Range number, depending upon how far it is located from the Meridian. The first column of Townships east of the Meridian is designated Range 1 East (or R1E), and the first column west of the Meridian is designated Range 1 West (or R1W).

The Township system works like this. A rectangular grid is laid out on maps and surveyed on the ground with permanent monuments at major intersections. All land is identified by where it falls in the grid. In Florida, the starting point for the grid is located at a monument just south of the capitol building in Tallahassee. From this starting point, a north-south line extends the length of the state. This is the Tallahassee Meridian. Also from this starting point, an east-west line extends across the state. This is the Tallahassee Base Line. The rest of the grid lines are laid out parallel to these two lines.


Each Township square has a unique designation which is determined by how far it is located from the Base Line and in what direction, and by how far it is located from the Meridian and in what direction. Thus, the Township square located in the third column of Townships west of the Meridian and the second Township square north of the Base Line is designated T2N R3W.

Townships are subdivided into Sections. A section is a square one mile on a side. It encompasses an area of one square mile or 640 acres. There are 36 Sections in each standard Township (a few are not standard). Each Section is given a number, but the numbering is a little odd. The present numbering system was adopted by Congress by the Act of May 18, 1796. It starts with the number "1" in the upper right hand corner and continues to the left across the top, down one row and then back to the right and down one row to repeat the same pattern until it ends with the number "36" at the bottom right hand corner.

The following map displays the system for designating Townships and Sections.
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