View Full Version : Using old maps to search

06-06-2006, 08:41 PM
A while back I came into a load of older maps, mostly from the 40s and 50s. It was interesting to note that between the late 40s and the late 50s a lot of the smaller towns disappeared. Just our of curiosity I searched some of the names on GT.com - of the 13, I randomly chose, 8 were listed here.
Just found it interesting. 'Course now I am wondering about those other 5!!

(These ones happened to be in southern Arizona)

06-07-2006, 06:35 AM
Being in Arizona and originally from Tucson I'm curious to know which towns as well.


06-07-2006, 07:37 AM
Lewis Springs, Fry, - South West of Lake Havasu
La Osa - South West closer to the border
Midway and Rose Well - Cochise County

On the late 40's map these were all listed as having fewer than 250 people. On the late 50s map they were not listed. Could be different mapping, towns incorporated into others or destroyed by hwy construction. Still 8 out of 13, pretty good.
I'd love to hear what you find - the chances of getting to Arizona are slim to none in the near future!

It seems like a look between maps of the 40s and 50s might give a lot of info. What I'm guessing is that the towns that were haanging on by a fingernail couldn't last when the interstates went in and started bypassing them.

06-07-2006, 08:42 AM
You've got the locations that I do. Also, on one the town name given is Las Guijan and the other Las Gijas - typo or did the name change?

06-07-2006, 01:47 PM
Lewis Springs is as mentioned where the ruins of the Clanton Ranch are located. In fact, I have a copy of the USGS topo for that area is which is titled Lewis Springs.

Can't say that I'm familiar with the other locations though. Las Guijas was according to info on the website west of Arivaca. Nothing remains.

06-07-2006, 08:07 PM
Now I'm curious, would you list the towns? I''m somewhat familiar with SE AZ. I have several territorial era maps of AZ & have referenced them to locate some places mentioned in books that were not on any modern map.


Please keep me posted as well. I'm almost finished equipping myself for the more extreme trails and I'm looking for the GTs off the beaten path. I work all the time (to pay for the new toys to drive the trails, silly!) so I don't get to do the research you do.

06-08-2006, 08:36 PM
I'd like to know about Midway. Maybe this weekend I'll have some time. I could put together the towns that dissapeared between the two maps. If you have the time to explore or the info to share, I'd like to explore vicariously.
Looks like the closest I'll get to a GT this year is right here.

06-09-2006, 03:43 PM
I have been using some old maps of Nevada to try to find new stuff to look for or places I hear about. But I also use 5 map software programs and 4 different map books and they all have stuff that doesn't appear in the others :rolleyes:

06-10-2006, 04:42 AM
True enough GaryB, Can't have too many maps, there will be some little detail on one that is not on the others, could be the critical piece of the puzzle. I was just on Ebay buying old gas station & RR maps for AZ. very reasonably priced generaly.

Just imagine how you would react if you suddenly came accross a weathered, yet unmolested steam locomotive out in the middle of nowhere, after tracing the remnants of old tracks for most of the day. You could tack that one up as a lifetime achievement!

06-26-2006, 09:06 PM
I Like to use areial photos of the state that I am interested in. I live in Colorado on the eastern plains. I use the photos to look mostly for abandoned buildings and old roads leading to them. a link for any state is : http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/ . This is a good way to find those lost places that people drive by just off the road everyday. enjoy all!


High Desert Drifter
06-26-2006, 10:49 PM
Good Call Darius, I too use the Areial photos on Terra Server. Usually after I have researched history and then location by mapping software that is compatable with my gps. I like to photo compare the lay of the land with the maps before each trip. Helps me to memorize the area and eliminates the need for frequent stops on the trail to look at maps etc..

You might want to check out Garmin MapSource software. contains most historic locales as well as mines etc.. combined with BLM or Forest Svc maps which usually indicate standing and deteriorating structures and the Terra Server Areial photos you can't go wrong.