Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Before There Was Google Maps...

I'm busy at the day job...and I am loving it!  I am preparing to lead a workshop series for teachers about using primary sources in the classroom.  For the section on maps, it's always fun for people to look at their own town. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900, there was quite a business in creating maps to encourage business owners to locate in your town - great railroads, navigable waters, actual roads.  Plenty of churches and schools and stores.  Hey - - things don't change.  Pick us, Google!

Go to the Library of Congress's Panographic Maps Collection.  See if you can find your town; then your neighborhood or street.  I live on a bend in the road, so I can find my house with ease, even though the Asheville maps do not have a north-south orientation.  It's all about the river!

When I was helping clean out my parents' house, there was a mailing tube in a closet.  I opened it up and there was a poster size map of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, circa 1869.  Sweet!   Enough of this - Back to work!

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