The solitary obelisk which sits on a cliffside overlooking the sea, seven miles below the City of Imperial Beach, is known as “Boundary Marker Number 258.”
She marks the initial point of the boundary between the United States and Mexico, as defined by the international Boundary Commission, set up under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which was signed on February 2, 1848, at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War.
She was the first of a total of 258 markers to be established along the new border which stretched for 1200 Miles between San Diego, California and Brownsville, Texas.
The shaft at first was known as “Boundary Marker Number One,” or the “International Monument.” Later, when the markers were renumbered, Boundary Marker Number One became Number 258.
The Italian marble monument experienced fame and glory in her young days, but for many years now she has sat on the sidelines of history, for the most part unrecognized and unheralded. Even access to the monument is difficult, due in part to the helicopter training program at Ream Field, close by the marker.
The significant historic site, one of the most important in our county, so far has not been registered either by the State of California or by the federal government.
The marker is not completely forgotten, however. Many groups, for many years, have waged a campaign in her behalf. Plans include having her registered officially as a landmark in time for the 200th anniversary of the founding of our city, and for making her the center of an international border park and of other hemispheric activities.
The government of Mexico is cooperating in these ventures and has offered to put a gate through the border next to the monument in time for the 200th anniversary celebration. (Photo by Michael J. Chambers)
This issue of the The Journal of San Diego History was scanned and proofread by volunteer Sean O’Dell.