12/8/14 – A Bird’s Eye View

Some of our favorite sources here at SHRA are maps. While our researchers take great joy in analyzing the intricacies of all maps, bird’s eye view or panoramic maps are some of our absolute favorites. Created in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century by cartographers, these images depicted cities from above at a… Read the Rest »

11/17/14 – The Desert Land Patent of Cascinda Sanders

25-year old Cascinda Sanders hailed from Kansas but was living in Boise, Idaho as a housekeeper by 1890. She filed on arid land in the area pursuant to Congress’ passage of the Desert Land Act on March 3, 1877. Designed to further encourage settlement in the arid West, the act permitted settlers to file on… Read the Rest »

11/3/14 – What’s in a Name? A Brief History of the “Colorado River”

The mighty Colorado River has not always been known as such. SHRA researchers were recently examining plats made by General Land Office surveyors along the Colorado River and discovered that the river has only been known by that name since 1921. The 1884 map shown below is a section of the original survey plat for Township… Read the Rest »

10/29/14 – Hey, Mr. Postman…Draw Me a Map

It’s rare today that the U.S. Postal Service requires much of American citizens wanting to send a letter aside from including the appropriate postage and legible sender/recipient information. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Post Office Department (predecessor to the Postal Service) demanded a bit more. The National Archives and Records… Read the Rest »

10/24/14 – The Passenger Pigeon

September 2014 marked 100 years since the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati zoo. These birds, which at one point made up 20% to 40% of the entire avian population of the United States, lived east of the Rocky Mountains, from central Canada in the north to the southern United States. It is estimated… Read the Rest »