Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"A Plan of West Springfield, By J. Lathrop, August 1831"

This 1831 map of West Springfield, Massachusetts is credited to J. Lathrop, with Boston firm, Pendleton's Lithogy, responsible for its printing and publishing. This map names names, revealing who lived where in West Side in 1831.

The most intriguing name may be that of the map's creator, J. Lathrop. The Reverend Joseph Lathrop, is said to have written nearly 5,000 sermons over 64 years as West Springfield's minister, the town's third. However, Rev. Lathrop passed in 1820, over a decade before the map's creation. Perhaps we are looking at the handiwork of one of the illustrious minister's descendants. No matter, 'tis a time capsule left for us to open. A present from the past.

"A Plan of West Springfield, By J. Lathrop, August, 1831"

This map and many others can be found in the Library of Congress's (LOC) Map Collections digital archive. Here's the link: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/gmdhome.html.

Personally, I find that viewing maps on the LOC web site is a bit limiting as far as ease of maneuverability and that it's also difficult to save large chunks of the images for later offline perusal. The best method I've found so far for getting the most out of these (mostly) public domain maps is to download them - they come in either JPEG2000 or MrSID formats - and use the free program, Irfanview (with plug-ins), to open, resize and convert them to other file formats, such as the JPEG up above. The LOC maps are usually large files, it takes a bit to download them, and one has to be patient with Irfanview as it loads the image.

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

Map source: Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, Digital ID: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3764w.la002013

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Anonymous said...

thanks for posting the map.

The map was created by John Lathrop,
the grandson of Rev. Lathrop.
He was the Third generation of the family.

I'll be pleased to respond to specifc questions about the map, the alignment of roads with ancient Indian trails, the relationship of boundries to the Third divison grants.
So many items to comment on,
a common reference point for us is the 'Braodway' which was not developed into the wonderful tree lined common until 1866 by Parsons.

The large body of water just south of broadway may be of some interest to westsiders.

That body of water was an ancient pond fed by a markedly Cold Spring that was filled in by the B & A around 1894. It no longer exists, nor does the marshy stream that leads to it.

Mark T. Alamed said...

Thank you for the Lathrop clarification and your generous offer of information!