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Extremely rare, large, and early Minnesota town plan, surveyed by J.C. Halstead in 1857.

The map includes a significant inset map of the Twin Cities and what would become the southern and western suburbs. The map labels Minnetonka Mills, Wayzata, Excelsior, Eden Prairie and Bloomington (both directly on the Minnesota River), "Shakepee", and Carver itself farther up the river.

The settlement of Carver was named after the famous explorer of the upper Midwest, Jonathan Carver, by Governor Ramsey. Carver's first settler was Axel John, who arrived there in late 1851 or early 1852.

Carver was fairly developed by 1857, according to an essay on the Carver Historic District, the town had 35 buildings by that year. Steamboat Captain George Houghton made daily round-trip runs between St. Paul and Carver with his boat Antelope. Furthermore, Carver had its own school district in 1857; for a century, it was Minnesota School District #1.

The Carver Historic District essay illustrates a strange connection between the town in 1857 and the infamous events of the Donner Party:

Among those living in Carver at the 1857 Minnesota Territorial Census were William McFadden Foster (1815-1874) and his wife Sarah Ann Charlotte Murphy (1826-1906). The couple and their young son Jeremiah George Foster were deeply involved in of one of America’s most riveting tragedies and its worst wagon train disaster, with 42 of the travelers dying. The Fosters were part of the infamous Donner Party, caught stranded and starving over the winter in a Sierra Nevada mountain pass in on the way to California in 1846-1847. Perhaps an omen of things to come, on Oct. 30, 1846 William Foster accidentally shot and killed his brother-in-law, William Pike. Starving in Dec. 1846, the party finally resorted to cannibalism to survive. William Foster, perhaps deranged, is the only member of the Donner party known to have murdered for food, when on Jan. 9, 1847 he killed Luis and Salvador, two vaquero guides from Sutter’s Mill in California who had come to help the party. In mid-March 1847 the Fosters’ son George also became one of the dead and cannibalized. After the horrible events the Fosters lived in San Francisco, California for a time before making their way to Minnesota. In Minnesota, William Foster was one of the founders of San Francisco Township, just to the southwest of Carver, and in 1855 was appointed by Minnesota Territorial Governor Willis Gorman to serve as one of Carver County’s first three county commissioners, with county board meetings held in Foster’s warehouse near the Carver Rapids. Foster and some partners founded a town called San Francisco on the Carver County side of the rapids, platting out lots and building a 40-foot warehouse, a 20-foot by 25-foot general store of one-and-a-half stories, and some other buildings. But a great spring 19-foot flood on the Minnesota River in 1861, another in 1862, and perhaps yet another in 1863 flood washed away Foster’s buildings and proved the townsite to be a poor location. Townsite hopes and remaining structures were abandoned, and the Fosters moved back to California.

The lower right corner includes the imprint line: "Lith. W.H. Rease, N.E. Cor. 4th. & Chestnut Sts. Pha."


We can locate only two copies in OCLC, at Yale and MNHS.

Condition Description
Repaired tears. Two small areas of loss at corners. Mounted on modern archival linen.