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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