Historical quads

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The U. S. Geological Survey is mapmaker to the Federal Government, but their topographical maps are used by ranchers, hikers, hydrologists, miners -- anyone interested in the shape of the land and what lies beneath. Because they also depict cultural features in rural areas -- roads, houses, schools, churches, cemetaries -- they can be useful for recreating history, too.

Up on the fourth floor of the Central Library, quadrangle maps of the Tulsa area from the mid-to-late '70s are laid out atop the map cabinets. The maps are actually an update of maps from the 1950s, with changes marked in purple. While some features from the '50s are obscured, many are still visible.

Old USGS maps provide the kind of information about rural areas that the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps provide for developed areas. I'd love to find Tulsa area USGS maps from the '50s and earlier.

I did find a bit of a 1913-4 USGS map showing Tulsa and environs from Pine to 111th St. S, and from the 96th Meridian (Osage County line, west of Elwood) to east of Yale. It's on p. 9 of the March 2006 issue of The Outpost, the newsletter of the Three Forks Treasure Hunters Club, in an article on historical USGS quadrangle maps. It's interesting to see what roads were there already, almost 100 years ago. Tulsa had grown only out as far as 21st and Utica, except for the western part of the Whittier neighborhood and an area labeled Kendall north of 11th between Lewis and Harvard. There's a place called West School on an unimproved road at about 76th and Delaware. The most interesting change: Back then it was called Jill Creek, not Joe Creek. (Or did the USGS man just mishear?)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 27, 2009 8:50 PM.

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