1858 Map Analysis
Project: 1) To identify present status of the 1858 house sites – how many are still standing?
2) Report on sites of interest on the map
Volunteers will analyze the 1858 map to identify the present status of each site. The analysis will be done with a large-sized copy of the 1858 map and several other maps – all issued at the scale of the modern USGS topographical map. The old maps don’t have modern road names, and are not as accurately drawn as modern maps, so the overlays are often needed to help compare old and new.
The analysis will result in a marked up worksheet copy of the 1858, with each site hand labeled as to the present use. Examples include “Jim Smith-2010″, “new house on old site”, “burned ca 1980″, “old foundation” etc. The worksheet will also identify new roads, abandoned roads, and a few prominent modern sites such as “Town Hall”, “new Elementary School”, or a modern workplace.
Volunteers will produce brief reports on six sites of interest shown on the old map, such as the birthplace of a nationally prominent person and what he/she did later in life, a mill site which made some unusual objects, or a site as simple as the home of a family with 12 children and parents who lived to their 90s! The idea is to bring some sites on the map to life. These reports will be typed up and pasted onto a large display copy of the 1858 map for public display at the library.
Typical Map Sites in Bernardston
Left: Who was “R. Chase” and what was the Hotel he had in North Bernardston.
Below: Did the train stop in this little settlement in the southeast corner of Bernardston? Is the schoolhouse still standing? What’s its story?
And note “Mary Ann Aldrich” as a homeowner. Very few women’s names appear on these maps. Was she a widow?