beacon, noun

Origin:
Dutch
A survey marker, or marker of ownership.
1. A post, stone, peg, or natural feature used to mark the boundaries of individually-owned land, or, less frequently, of provinces or states; baaken sense 1.
1809 Earl of Caledon in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1900) VII. 185Half an hour’s walking..from the house or beacon whence it (sc. the farm) is supposed to be measured.
1850 J.E. Methley New Col. of Port Natal 55The beacons..marked and numbered, gave an appearance of civilization in this unfortunately unmeasured country.
1854 Minutes of Proceedings To Enquire into Existing Pound Regulations in Cape of G.H. Annexures 109The Committee find that the Petitioners complain..Of the non-erection of proper Beacons on the boundaries of Farms.
1859 Cape Town Weekly Mag. 11 Feb. 39Mr. Austen, the superintendent of the native Reserve in the Wittebergen, met Field-cornet Olivier on Thursday last, by the Governor’s direction, and placed the last beacon on the Orange River, where the new boundary-line between the Basutos and the Free State terminates.
1878 Crown Lands Act in A. Douglass Ostrich Farming (c1881) 196The expenses of survey, erection of beacons, and of the title-deeds, to be paid at any time the government may fix.
c1881 A. Douglass Ostrich Farming 238Insist on seeing all corner and angle beacons, and..find out whether any of these are disputed by the neighbours.
c1881 A. Douglass Ostrich Farming 239An excellent plan is to whitewash all beacon stones; everybody in the farm then soon gets to know the boundaries.
1893 Africanus in Cape Illust. Mag. Vol.3 No.11, 417The beacon, and ruins of the hut, still stand at the top of the zig-zag path leading up to it.
1905 G. Baumann in Baumann & Bright Lost Republic (1940) 242Moffat..said in his ‘Omschryving’..that the first beacon stood in a certain magnetic direction from this point, and then proceeded to describe the other beacons of the farm.
1924 G. Baumann in Baumann & Bright Lost Republic (1940) 107The beacon should have been some four or five hundred yards nearer the original farm...This my calculation and plotting verified, and it was also in accord with the old ‘Omschryving’.
1927 C.G. Botha Social Life in Cape Col. 78Beacons had to be fixed to show the boundaries and an old law laid down the death penalty for those found removing another man’s beacons.
1934 C.P. Swart Supplement to Pettman. 9Beacon, In its South African application this word, influenced by the Afrikaans ‘baken’, means a natural or artificial erection, used as a landmark or distinguishing point for the purpose of defining the division of land into portions, such as beacons defining the boundaries of farms (usually a stake driven into the ground), lots, erven, claims or water-rights.
1951 R. Farran Jungle Chase (1957) 46It is necessary to mark off with clear lines and beacons through the bush square one-mile blocks which are registered as claims with the Mining Commissioner.
1969 I. Vaughan Last of Sunlit Yrs 88It concerns an action involving an allegation that a beacon had been moved, and evidence as to the beacon’s original position was vital to the case.
1972 Daily Dispatch 29 July 4The beacons of new farms, still unfenced, were piling up on the veld.
1984 R.C. Fisher in Martin & Friedlaender Hist. of Surveying & Land Tenure I. 61We should note that the extent of a modern land parcel is also demarcated by beacons. This raises the question: was this the case in van Riebeeck’s time?
2. rare. An inscribed stone claiming possession of colonial land for the mother-country; baaken sense 2. See also padrao.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 25Not van Plettenberg’s beacon, nor any frontier or treaty line, nor any neutral belt availed in keeping white and black apart.
3. A trigonometrical station or point.
1962 S. Afr. 1:50,000 Sheet 3326 AC Alicedale (Trig. Survey Office) (caption)Trig. Beacons (Number to right and height below).
1989 Weekend Post 11 Nov. (Leisure) 4You walk mostly on the crest of the range..but the path deprives you of the final peak of the Oliewenberg...You are forbidden to leave the trail to get to the beacon.
A survey marker, or marker of ownership.
A post, stone, peg, or natural feature used to mark the boundaries of individually-owned land, or, less frequently, of provinces or states; baaken1.
An inscribed stone claiming possession of colonial land for the mother-country; baaken2.
A trigonometrical station or point.
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18091989