Nikki Carlson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Sounds of amazement erupted from the audience as Sarah Stahl gingerly held up two pieces of a steel plate that may have been a 49th parallel plate that once marked the United States and Canadian border. Stahl of the Gildford Hutterite Colony said the antique marker was unearthed by her then 13-year-old son while he was chisel plowing in their 47-acre field, which was located about 10 miles south of the Canadian border. The plate is missing three smaller pieces and the date stamped into the metal is 1872. The 49th parallel is the latitude line stretching across the Earth along the United States and Canadian border. Stahl said at the time of the discovery, she thought her son had found and important treasure and stowed the piece in a safe place. Thursday Stahl brought the piece to show the Winter Reading and Discussion Group at the Havre-Hill County Library. She said she thought the piece would be intriguing to the group since they were discussing the final book of their Border Stories series with the book "The Medicine Line: Life and Death On a North American Borderland." "I thought it pertains to the topic for tonight," she said. The 136-year-old piece has raised a lot of questions. Stahl said she wanted to know who put the marker there, if it belongs to the government and if it can be restored and embedded into a stone structure to be put back where it was found, as an attraction sight. Stahl has searched for the marker's missing pieces, but alas, hasn't found them, yet. She said she will continue looking for them to put her mind at rest. "I love to study history, especially Montana history," she said.