General Land Office

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The General Land Office (GLO) was an independent agency of the United States government responsible for public domain lands in the United States. It was created in 1812 to take over functions previously conducted by the United States Department of the Treasury. Starting with the passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785, which created the Public Land Survey System, the Treasury Department had already overseen the survey of the "Northwest Territory", including what is now the state of Ohio. Placed under the Department of the Interior when that department was formed in 1849, it was merged with the United States Grazing Service (established in 1934) to become the Bureau of Land Management on July 16, 1946. - Wikipedia (


  • The general land office during their survey work identified trees as the corners of sections, inadvertently producing a semi-random sample of vegetation in Puget Sound.
  • Hand drawn GLO maps produced during surveys provide a glimpse into past landscapes, including large wetlands that are now gone. (for example, see Schneider Creek Watershed).
  • the River History Project used GLO maps to reconstruct historical river floodplains to understand change in large rivers. Digitized maps are available for download.