USGS Struggles to Get It Right on Washington, DC, Highpoint at Tenleytown/Reno

In nosing around the USGS website, I notice the USGS actually names DC’s highest point (which I don’t believe they’ve done before) but in the process they’ve bungled it.

Take a look at the entry for Tenleytown It has this entry:

Feature Name: Tenleytown
Feature Type: populated place
Elevation (feet): 410
Description: Highest elevation in DC at 410 feet.
History Notes: Named for John Tenley (BGN 1892)
State: District of Columbia County: District of Columbia
Variant Name(s) Tenallytown Tenley Tenley-Town Tennallytown Tennellytown
USGS 7.5′ x 7.5′ Map: Washington West

It gives coordinates 385658N 0770510W You note it’s listed as a populated place and not as a summit.
If you follow the topozone link you find it is part way up a hill about six block west south west of our recognized highpoint at Fort Reno.

There is indeed a USGS listing now for Reno which seems more or less to be in the place we commonly accept as the highpoint. The topozone location (385710N 0770443W) seems to be right on the money:

Here’s the Reno entry:

Feature Name: Reno
Feature Type: populated place
Elevation (feet): 405
State: District of Columbia County: District of Columbia
USGS 7.5′ x 7.5′ Map: Washington West

Again it’s listed as a populated place and the elevation is off from the 429 feet we generally accept. But perhaps it’s progress. Robert Hyman from the Club is working with the District of Columbia Association of Land Surveyors to straighten all this out.

Below is the original americasroof DC Highpoint page. (breakout of frame)


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