[N&W] Insurance Maps

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue May 4 23:03:04 EDT 2004

Hi, all!

One often overlooked source for trackage diagrams can often be found on old
Sanborn (spelling??) Maps, which usually can be found on microfiche at the
local library.  Using a reader/printer you can scan the archives for the
town you want and there should be several "issues" of the map running from
the late 1800's to later revisions, possibly as late as mid-century.  These
were done for insurance companies and give fairly precise descriptions,
though not always measurements, of buildings, houses, streets, trackage,
etc.  (If you are a historian of hydrants and sprinkler systems, then these
maps are a GOLD MINE!!)  They give such things as how many stories, porches,
etc. for houses and such,  as well as lots of other interesting info.  I
found most of the turn of the century to mid-30's layouts of Winston-Salem
NC for the N&W, Southern, Winston-Salem Southbound, etc.  It was not a very
good source on all of the trolley trackage in W-S (actually, I must add, our
trolley system was one of the first 3-4 in the US -- a demo system designed
with the aid of Frank Sprague.)   I have also looked up other interesting
locales, such as Aberdeen NC (with the SAL, Aberdeen & Rockfish, etc....)

Incidentally, on a totally different subject, I found a list of US
historical society links in IN while doing a little genealogy research.
This also gives some RR historical societies for various states:

Happy hunting!
Richard Barnes
Winston-Salem NC
richard.barnes3 at att.net

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