One of the Earliest Maps to Show Yosemite National Park
A fantastic rare map of the western United States, showing the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. This map was published in San Francisco.
The map provides a fascinating look at the western states of the US just before the turn of the century. The map shows and names many counties and gives a detailed impression of topography. Furthermore, many railroads, including proposed railroads, such as the Los Angeles Salt Lake Railroad. Many Indian Reservations are shown. An inset shows the southernmost part of Arizona.
This 1892 map contains many curiosities. Southern California is riddled with now-defunct townships, including Selwyn, near La Jolla, Stewart, near Carlsbad, and Cowle's, near La Mesa. The Redlands Loop, east of San Bernardino, had been built seven years prior to this map. Between San Bernardino and Los Angeles, many cities are labeled along the two parallel train lines. Misspellings (or historical changes of name) abound on the map; one can find "El Cojon" (El Cajon), "Montana" (Fontana), and "Baner" (Banner). Mt. Whitney is given an elevation of 15,000 feet, even though other peaks are generally shown more accurately. The map gives two names for the large lake at the Nevada-California border, naming it Tahoe and Bigler, highlighting a naming controversy between the California state legislature and the federal government.
The map contains many intriguing references to western mining history. Natural deposits that were being exploited at the time are recorded. The San Gabrial Range, north of Los Angeles, has "gold" written several times on its foothills. Eldoradoville had already perished by the time this map was made, but Big Tujunga mining fever had exploded, with peak interest in the late 1880s. Of course, Nevada is littered with references to "gold" and "silver," especially in the area around Virginia City. To the north of the map, the area near Chehalis, Washington, is noted for its coal deposits. Many boom and bust mining towns can be found. Bodie, California is shown on a wagon road going eastwards, it would burn down that same year. Arizona is littered with what would later become ghost towns.
Other features of interest on this map include the massive counties seen, with most of the counties of southern California reaching Nevada and Arizona. San Bernadino County nearly reaches Death Valley. This is one of the earliest maps to show Orange County, which had been formed just three years prior.
C. H. Amerine published several maps regarding the western United States, with a particular focus of his being mining. Crockett appears to have been an occasional collaborator of Amerine's, having also worked with him on a map of Washington. All of Amerine's maps are either scarce or rare, with no more than two institutional collections being locatable for even the least rare of his maps.
We were able to locate one example of this map in an institutional collection, held by the Shields Library at the University of California, Davis. We have not seen any additional examples of this map on the market. It appears that the 1892 edition was the only one produced.