This 1925 plat shows the legal description for the town of Holt which lies in Section 33, Township 3 North, Range 25 West. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Holt is located at 304257N latitude and 0864445W longitude, which is roughly at the corner of Berry Street and U.S. Route 90.
By comparison, the Okaloosa County Appraiser’s online mapping tool shows a slightly different layout today, although some of the individual property lines appear to still exist. Some road names are the same, and some are even in the same place. It also appears First Avenue in 1925 became U.S. Route 90, which didn’t exist in Florida until 1926. *
By the time Florida became a U.S. territory, the federal government already had a system in place to measure and describe the land called the Public Land Survey System. Under this system, land was divided into 6-square-mile areas, called townships. Each township was divided into 36 one-square-mile areas called sections.
However, before land can be surveyed and divided into townships, a starting point, known as an origin point, has to be established. All surveying is based off that point.
After the treaty with Spain in 1821 that transferred ownership of Florida to the United States, the federal government began surveying the area in 1924 to measure and describe the land.
An initial surveying point was established at Tallahassee, a quarter miles east and south from the where the future state capital building would be built. That point became known as the Tallahassee Meridian. All land in Florida is measured from the Tallahassee Meridian.
* The Old Spanish Trail, also known as Florida State Road No. 1, was an auto trail running from St. Augustine, Fla., to San Diego, Calif. In Florida, the OST ran along what’s now U.S. Route 90. A section of the bricked roadway, listed in the National Register of Historical Places, can still be seen east of the Blackwater Bridge in Milton.