Monday, September 1, 2008

First Durham Map

Before I can come up with another longish post I thought I'd go back to putting a few more general maps up. I've displayed two maps below. One of these two maps was the first general state map to include Durham. The North Carolina Railroad put Durham's station on the map remarkably soon after the first train service in the early summer of 1855:

From the NC Maps Collection at UNC (see links to the right)

This map (above) was published as part of an atlas between 1855 and 1860. It's fairly simple and doesn't depict many of the smaller towns and crossroads in the area - perhaps unfairly catapulting Durham into the minds of readers as it still had only a couple hundred people living in is vicinity. Also it seems that the Eno got lost in the shuffle of this map though it does include New Hope creek flowing south from the Durham area.

The map above has the potential to be the earliest of the two and was published in either 1858 or 1859 also as part of an atlas. I especially appreciate the added detail though I have to say that the measuring is a bit off as Durham has been shunted almost all the way to the Orange county line and quite far south of the Eno. I'd love to know if anyone else can find an earlier atlas or large scale map that depicts Durham

1 comment:

Nick said...

Thanks for linking to the North Carolina Maps project. Look for many more maps to be added in the future.

My favorite depiction of the Durham area is on this 1814 map.

I've driven between Raleigh and Chapel Hill many times, but I seem to have missed that large mountain range in between the two cities. I guess this shows that some historic maps are not quite as accurate as others.

Keep up the good work!

Nicholas Graham
Carolina Digital Library and Archives
UNC-Chapel Hill