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Is Philly in Pennsylvania or Maryland? Once, no one knew.

6/2/2015 | Real Estate Blog

Boundary disputes. They have existed for as long as people have drawn maps, for as long as settlers have built fences, for as long as the human race has designated plots of ground as “mine” and “yours.”

In the 18th century, in fact, the borders of Pennsylvania itself were vehemently disputed. According to the Tribune-Review, vaguely worded charters granted by a series of monarchs combined with insufficient geographical knowledge and error-filled maps led to a hotly contested land battle between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The Susquehanna River was the staging ground for multiple clashes between militia after it was discovered that a large part of Philadelphia had been technically built south of the 40th parallel — which meant that a significant part of the city was standing on Maryland soil.

It wasn’t until 1767 that Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon were able to conduct an accurate survey. Their work established the Mason-Dixon line and helped to create a new border.

Today, we look back at such historical boundary disputes, shake our heads and smile, but the same type of conflict still occurs on a smaller scale. Disputes between neighboring property owners, between real estate developers and between other parties still poses a challenge in 2015.

Such real estate litigation can be a significant financial threat to those involved. If you find yourself caught up in a boundary dispute, it only makes sense to consult a real estate attorney or a similar professional who can take legal action to protect your rightful property.