Bird’s eye views of North Carolina towns

Bird’s eye views are one of the most attractive map forms. They were most popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are particularly fascinating because their creation more often relied on the ingenuity of the artist cartographer than on an actual view from upon high. Continue reading “Bird’s eye views of North Carolina towns”

Mayodan – a mill town born in the wilderness

Mayodan – a mill town born in the wilderness, Posted on 28 April 2020 by crmaps . This is the second of two posts in the past two years that completely vanished from this blog a few months after being posted; even the image files for this post disappeared from the blog’s media library page. If anyone has an explanation, or even better, a preventive cure, please share via the “What’s on your mind?” comment box near the bottom of this page.

In the 1890s, the town of Mayodan developed almost overnight on the Mayo River in western Rockingham County, NC. A map dating from the founding of this town was recently brought to my attention by Michael Buehler, proprietor of Boston Rare Maps. Continue reading “Mayodan – a mill town born in the wilderness”

Rare Maps of North Carolina

In this blog post, we’ll list a few of the rarest of the rare maps of North Carolina published prior to 1800.  The list is anecdotal; a map makes the list if I don’t recall seeing an example sold in the past 20 years, despite the number of surviving institutional copies, or if I’m aware of no more than five extant copies. Let’s get started! Continue reading “Rare Maps of North Carolina”

Kocherthal 1709 map of Carolina

A very brief historical background on Kocherthal and the Palatines

Before we get to the map of the Carolina region published by Joshua Kocherthal in 1709, a very brief historical background is in order. The Palatine region of western Germany was devastated repeatedly by wars in the 17th Century and early 18th Century. Famine and poverty inflicted by constant war are frequently cited as reasons for emigration of German Palatines during this period. If decades of war and famine had not yet instigated mass migration, what encouraged the Palatines to finally overcome inertia in 1709? Continue reading “Kocherthal 1709 map of Carolina”

Le Provincie Meridionali degli Stati Uniti x 4

…or a whole lotta Botta!

Four separate, but nearly identical, maps of the Carolinas, engraved and printed in Italy in the 19th century, are completely devoid of the letter “W”.   These four maps have an identical title, Le Provincie Meridionali degli Stati Uniti.  Continue reading “Le Provincie Meridionali degli Stati Uniti x 4”

Octagonal towns – better than circles

Octagonal towns.  A previous post discussed the abundance of circle towns in North Carolina (and throughout the South) and the various reasons behind this geometric town limit. The impracticality of a circular boundary, from a surveyor’s perspective, was also mentioned. What’s the solution to keeping the circular benefits in a way that would be practical to the surveyorr? The octagonal town, of course! Continue reading “Octagonal towns – better than circles”

MESDA Map Seminar – NEW DATE

This conference has been rescheduled for September 17-18, 2021. 

Cartography & Culture: Mapping the Early American South, a MESDA Map Seminar, will be held at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, NC, on September 17-18, 2021. The organizers have created an outstanding program. Further details on the program and registration are available here: https://mesda.org/program/mesda-fall-seminar/ . This program has been generously sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Frank H. Holcomb of Houston, TX. I hope to see you there!

The cartographic wanderings of Carolana

On 30 October 1629, King Charles I issued a grant to Sir Robert Heath, his attorney general, for all the land in North America between 31° and 36° north latitude. This land was designated Carolana, i.e. “land of Charles.” During the next 150 years, Carolana made sporadic and wandering appearances on maps. Continue reading “The cartographic wanderings of Carolana”

C. M. Miller: North Carolina’s preeminent county map maker

C.M. Miller authored at least eleven North Carolina county maps (nine separate counties) during the early 20th Century. Who was this forgotten cartographer, and which counties did he map? Continue reading “C. M. Miller: North Carolina’s preeminent county map maker”

No love for Carte de la Caroline

Cartographic historians and collectors of 18th Century maps of what is now Virginia and the Carolinas love “wow” maps, such as the Churton-Collet map of North Carolina and the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia. A few maps, such as Carte de la Caroline Meridionale et Septentrionale et de la Virginie, receive no love at all and are essentially ignored. Why is that? Continue reading “No love for Carte de la Caroline”