HURLBURT & REMUS SURVEYING, INC.
A History of Professional Service Since 1953
EXPERT Land Survey Services in Black River Falls, WI
In 1953 Ray Hurlburt went into business as a surveyor in private practice. In 1977, his son, Norm Hurlburt joined him in the formation of Hurlburt & Remus Surveying, Inc. After Ray’s passing in 1991, Norm continued to operate that business until March 2020, when he sold it to Ethan Remus, and it became Hurlburt & Remus Surveying, Inc., continuing the rich history of providing high quality, professional services to the Black River Falls area for nearly 7 decades. Although we have a new name and some new faces, our goals have remained the same: to provide our clients with the best we have to offer every day, and to use our knowledge and experience to serve our community. We value your trust above all else.
Ray W. Hurlburt was born in 1903 in a log cabin on the east side of Jackson County in what is now Komensky Township. The family moved in 1908 and took up farming in the area around Shamrock in southern Jackson County. Ray attended the nearby one-room Shamrock school, completing an eighth-grade education. Being his parents only child, he continued with the family farming operation. He was introduced to land surveying during the depression years, while working with a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) crew in 1935. After about a year with the CCC, he took a job with the Resettlement Administration, surveying marginal farmland in northeastern Jackson County that was being bought up by the US government in an effort to resettle the farmers on better land. It was during this period he came into contact with David Blencoe, the County Surveyor for Jackson County. Mr. Blencoe took an interest in Ray and spent much time sharing his wealth of knowledge with him. From then on, Ray divided his time between surveying with Mr. Blencoe and farming with his father. Ray also served as Chairman for the Town of Manchester and was a member of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors from 1937-1948.
In 1953, following Mr. Blencoe’s death, Ray was appointed the Jackson County Surveyor and served in this capacity part-time until 1980. During this time Ray spent countless hours collecting and assembling survey records that had not previously been filed in the county records and creating an overall index to all the surveys in that office. He also wrote several articles and spoke to anyone who would listen about the importance of preserving survey monuments, a subject very dear to him. Ray was among the first surveyors to be licensed in the State of Wisconsin in 1956 (S-398) and was also one of the first members of the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors (WSLS). He was very active in this organization, serving on its board of directors for several years and also as its president in 1968. Through WSLS, he was instrumental in getting legislation passed to require all surveyors to record their surveys and legislation to require land taken by adverse possession to be properly described.
Ray had only eight years of formal education, but he never stopped learning – attending seminars, reading, and asking questions of anyone he could. And he never stopped teaching others, especially about surveying, whenever the opportunity arose. Ray never retired. He continued to remain interested and involved in the profession as much as his health would allow until he left us in 1991 to join the Great Surveyor who “laid out the four corners of the earth” (Ps 74:17).
Norman R. Hurlburt was born in 1948 and grew up on the family farm in Shamrock in southern Jackson County (where his brother Doug still lives today). He started assisting his father (Ray) on surveying projects as soon as he was old enough to carry a shovel. Through his early teens and high school years, he helped on the family farm and worked with his dad on nearly every aspect of land surveying – researching survey records and deeds, digging for corner monuments, measuring miles of line with a 100-foot steel tape, doing computations by hand or with a mechanical calculator, and drawing maps. He was part of the Black River Falls High School graduating class of 1966, then continued on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from Wisconsin State University (now University of Wisconsin) at Platteville in 1971 and a Master’s degree in engineering with emphasis on surveying from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1972, returning home to help with farming and surveying during summers and vacations.
After receiving his Master’s, he spent five years surveying in the Madison area, performing construction staking, platting and boundary surveys. Norm earned licensure as a professional surveyor in 1973 (S-1104). He also earned licensure as a Professional Engineer in 1977 (E-16252) but realized soon afterward that his love was for surveying and never put that license to use. He came back to Black River Falls in 1977 and joined his father in forming Hurlburt & Remus Surveying, Inc. He has spent his entire career surveying in private practice. He also served as the Clark County Surveyor on a part-time basis from 1985 until 1997, when with his encouragement, the county made the position full-time. He served on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors (WSLS) for several years and has attended nearly every WSLS annual institute since 1972, as well as participating in numerous other continuing education activities. For several years he has given a presentation on surveying to a local high school class.
Norm’s six years of post-high school education broadened his perspective on many aspects of surveying and engineering that he had not experienced prior to that, but still maintains that he learned more about the day-to-day practice of surveying with his dad outside the classroom. He holds his dad and other surveyors before him in high esteem for their dedication to their profession and strives to continue their legacy.
Ethan D. Remus was born in 1991 and grew up on a farm near Hixton. He was part of the Black River Falls High School graduating class of 2009, then continued on to obtain an Associate’s degree in surveying from the Nicolet Area Technical College in Rhinelander in 2011. He has been surveying in west central Wisconsin ever since. Ethan earned licensure as a professional surveyor in 2015 (S-3075). He has worked in both the private and public sector, serving as the Jackson County Surveyor from 2017-2020. Although he never got the chance to meet Ray, he developed a strong bond with Norm, frequently seeking his opinion on various questions that a young surveyor has. When the time was right, Ethan approached Norm on the possibilities of a partnership and the rest is history!
Ethan bought the company from Norm and Norm agreed to continue working with Ethan. So far, so good! We are still as passionate as ever about what we do and will continue to serve our clients with the same quality of work that has become associated with the Hurlburt name.