One of the first things people see when they come to the Local History Room are these big books of maps sitting on the map shelf. They don’t quite know what they are but they are colorful and heavy.
These maps are some of my favorite resources. They are the Sanborn Insurance Maps which were produced by the Sanborn Map Company originally for fire departments so that they could know the composition of the buildings signified by different colors. They also were used by insurance companies. As a researcher, they are a great resource to illustrate the history of a building and all the changes it went through. The two massive volumes on the top of the shelf are from 1908 and 1932. In addition, there is a two-volume set from the 1950s in that area. There also are additional maps on microfilm dating all the way back to 1887, the first map for the city.
Take a look at these maps. Not only are they fun to look at, you never know what you will learn.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps