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. Unfortunately for us, American map publishers spent more time creating bird’s eye views of the more densely populated northern states and intriguing locations in the far west. (A “preliminary checklist” of bird’s eye views of Wisconsin towns filled 76 pages.1) There are relatively few bird’s eye views of North Carolina towns and cities.  Those that have been digitized by the Library of Congress are listed below, alphabetically by town.

 

1891 bird’s-eye view of the city of Asheville, North Carolina. Perspective map not drawn to scale. Bird’s-eye-view. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 658 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes illus. AACR2

  • Contributor: Burleigh Litho – Ruger & Stoner
  • Date:1891

 

Asheville, Buncombe Co. N.C. 1912. Perspective map not drawn to scale. Bird’s-eye-view. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 659 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes illus. and text. AACR2

  • Contributor: Fowler, T. M. – Fowler, T. M. (Thaddeus Mortimer) – Charles Hart Litho
  • Date:1912

 

Black Mountain, N.C. 1912. Perspective map not drawn to scale. Bird’s-eye-view. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 660 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes illus., text, and directory. AACR2: 100; 651/1

  • Contributor: [Fowler, T. M. – Fowler & Browning – [Fowler, T. M. (Thaddeus Mortimer)]
  • Date:1912

 

Bird’s-eye view of the city of Durham, North Carolina 1891. Perspective map not drawn to scale. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 661 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes index to points of interest, directory, and view “East Durham.” AACR2: 110; 651/1; 710/1

  • Contributor: Burleigh Litho – Ruger & Stoner
  • Date:1891

 

Bird’s eye view of the city of Greensboro, North Carolina. 1891. Perspective map not drawn to scale. “Looking north-east.” LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 662 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes illus., index to points of interest, and directory. AACR2

  • Contributor: Burleigh Litho – Ruger & Stoner
  • Date:1891

 

  • Hendersonville, N.C. 1913. Perspective map not drawn to scale. Bird’s-eye-view. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 663 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes illus., text, and directory. AACR2: 100; 651/1

    • Contributor: [Fowler, T. M. – Fowler & Browning – [Fowler, T. M. (Thaddeus Mortimer)]
    • Date:1913

     

    Bird’s-eye-view of Hickory, North Carolina. Perspective map not drawn to scale. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 664 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Vault AACR2: 100; 651/1

    • Contributor: Downs, A. E. – Downs, A. E. (Albert E.)
    • Date:1907

 

Aero view of High Point, North Carolina Perspective map not drawn to scale. Bird’s-eye-view. “Published and copyrighted 1913 by J.J. Farris High Point, N.C.” “Charles Hart Litho. N.Y.” LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 665 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes “Factory references and index.” Vault AACR2: 651/1; 710/1

  • Contributor: Hart, Chas. (Charles) – Fowler, T. M. (Thaddeus Mortimer) – Fowler, T. M.
  • Date:1913

 

Bird’s eye view of the city of Raleigh, North Carolina 1872. Perspective map not drawn to scale. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 666 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes illus. and index to points of interest. AACR2

  • Contributor: Drie, C. N.
  • Date:1872

 

Bird’s eye view of Rocky Mount, North Carolina 1907 Perspective map not drawn to scale. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 667 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes ill. Vault AACR2: 100; 651/1; 710/1

  • Contributor: Fowler, T. M. – Fowler, T. M. (Thaddeus Mortimer) – Charles Hart Litho
  • Date:1907

 

Property of the South Rocky Mount Land Co. at South Rocky Mount, N.C. Perspective map not drawn to scale. Bird’s-eye-view. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 668 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Vault AACR2: 100

  • Contributor: Fowler, T. M. (Thaddeus Mortimer) – Fowler, T. M.
  • Date:1900

 

Bird’s-eye-view of Statesville, North Carolina, Perspective map not drawn to scale. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 669 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Vault AACR2: 100; 651/1

  • Contributor: Downs, A. E. – Downs, A. E. (Albert E.)
  • Date:1907

 

Birds eye view of Wilson, North Carolina 1908. Perspective map not drawn to scale. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 670 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes illus. AACR2

  • Contributor: Fowler, T. M. (Thaddeus Mortimer) – Fowler, T. M.
  • Date:1908

 

Bird’s-eye view of the twin cities, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1891. Perspective map not drawn to scale. LC Panoramic maps (2nd ed.), 671 Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes index to points of interest and directory. AACR2

  • Contributor: Ruger & Stoner
  • Date:1891

 

Panorama of the seat of war; birds eye view of North and South Carolina and part of Georgia. Perspective map not drawn to scale. LC Civil War maps (2nd ed.) 304.6 Includes distance chart. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. AACR2: 651/1; 651/2; 651/3; 651/4

  • Contributor: Bachmann, John
  • Date:1861
For further reading, consider the following superb book:

Reps, John W. 1998. Bird’s eye views: historic lithographs of North American cities. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

If you know of any other bird’s eye views of North Carolina towns, please let us know via the “What’s on your mind?” comment box below.
If you are interested in North Carolina town plans, see these prior posts.

References

  1. Maule, Elizabeth Singer. 1977. Bird’s eye views of Wisconsin communities: a preliminary checklist. [Madison]: State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

One thought on “Bird’s eye views of North Carolina towns”

  1. I used the Bird’s Eye View of Winston Salem (1891) to write/edit a series of thirteen books on Winston Salem (“Winston Salem in History”) published by the Wachovia Historical Society and Historic Winston in 1976. I found it to be provocative in perspective as an interpretation of Winston & Salem at a time of rapid industrialization and the construction of Victorian era churches and big houses. I also found it to be at least 90% accurate in depicting details of the Twin Cities’ development at that moment in time. Thus my books on architecture and building, transportation, churches, business, government and more ended up being at least 90% accurate in locational detail as well!
    I think these bird’s eye views are invaluable tools for historians of all inflections.
    As well as very successful works of mapping and art.

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