Old West Town Maps – Sanborn Maps

Jul 8, 2015
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Accurate maps of towns and cities and the old west are somewhat difficult to find. Many of the historical archives contain bird’s eye maps of significant sites. However, fewer sites contain actual maps of the towns. As I was searching around, I came across several plat maps from the Sanborn Company. Apparently, Sanborn was a mapping company that started shortly after the end of the Civil War. The primary product were fire risk maps.

Sanborn operated from 1867-2007 with maps from over 12,000 locations. My particular interest is the era from 1860 – 1890 but others may be interested in the maps from more modern eras. Many of the older maps have passed into the public domain and archived by several national and state organizations. Check the external links section on the Sanborn Maps Wikipedia article for a good list of organizations.

Here are couple of samples I snagged from the University of Colorado Sanborn Collection:

Blackhawk, CO 1890 - Key

Central City / Blackhawk, CO 1890 – Key

Blackhawk, CO sample page

Central City / Blackhawk, Plat 2

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