The Story of the Massive Map

29 Aug
To take a look at this incredible map in person, come into the archives and ask for: G4331 H1 C5 1882 B3. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos or materials seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

The handwritten note on the back of this map. Apparently it was part of a court case. To take a look at this incredible map in person, come into the archives and ask for: G4331 H1 C5 1882 B3. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos or materials seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Sometimes at work you find something too good to be true. That is what happened with the map you see in the photos below. A while ago, a patron came in and asked to take a look at this map. We had never pulled it before, so we didn’t quite know what to expect. I was confused when I found it was folded up and not fully encapsulated. Why not just encapsulate the entire thing? It didn’t make any sense to me. Then I slipped it out of its encapsulation and proceeded to unfold it for our patron. I unfolded it and unfolded it and unfolded it and then I had to ask for the other archivist to help me. This map was huge! By the time we had gotten it completely unfolded it took up two whole tables in our Reading Room and part of a third table. So far this is definitely the largest map I’ve opened in my time here at AHS. None of us, not even the patron who requested the map, realized it was going to be this big. Measurements of maps are included in the online catalog but it’s one thing to see it in type and another thing completely to see it all laid out on tables in front of you.

This map was actually part of a court case between the Tranquility Mining Company and the Head Center Consolidated Mining Company disputing a mining claim. The map itself dates back to May 1882 and is a pen and ink drawing on tracing linen. This map is a massive, beautiful reminder of those bygone days when Arizona was a major mining destination for individuals running small operations as well as bigger companies. Arizona has retained its position as a mining state, but the romanticized history of the older mining days still holds a special allure.

A view of the front of this map. To take a look at this incredible map in person, come into the archives and ask for: G4331 H1 C5 1882 B3. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos or materials seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

A view of the front of this map. To take a look at this incredible map in person, come into the archives and ask for: G4331 H1 C5 1882 B3. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos or materials seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Another photo of the map. Almost fully unfolded. To take a look at this incredible map in person, come into the archives and ask for: G4331 H1 C5 1882 B3. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos or materials seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Another photo of the map. Almost fully unfolded. To take a look at this incredible map in person, come into the archives and ask for: G4331 H1 C5 1882 B3. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos or materials seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

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