Old Road Maps
Town Map Overlay Sets
Simplify your research into old roads and
For a fee, we offer on a special order
basis, sets of 6 printed detailed maps at the same scale
as an aid to research into old roads and old houses. Examples from the
Town of Pomfret are seen below. Using these same-scale maps you can study
the changes by overlaying the maps on one another. For most Vermont Towns all 6
of these maps - approximate years - are available now.
(Your town may not be the exact year as these examples,
but generally the following old maps are available in addition to the 1986
and 1996 maps: mid-1850s maps (wall maps) and circa 1870 maps
(Beers) 1893-1953 (original USGS maps)
from the "Map of Windsor County, 1856" by Hosea Doton.
The oldest map to show all houses and homeowner's names..
1986 & 2003
2 Modern Maps
The 1986 map (above) shows all buildings in recent
years. There is also a 2003
State AOT map which is more accurate and shows all road segments by number
and length, but does not show houses (not
Note that the 1856 map of Pomfret's town
center is quite different than the 1986 map. Both maps show all roads
and principal buildings. There is a northwesterly road leading out of
the center which is has been stubbed off by 1986, and the main east-west
road from the center has been replaced by a more southerly looped road.
3 other maps of the same area are below.
1869 "Beers" Atlas
from the "Atlas of Windsor County",
1869, by F.W. Beers. The "Beers" maps provide different names and roads
than the 1850s map. They came after the great changes wrought by the
railroads and the Civil War.
1908-11 Old USGS
from the US Geological Survey. The first topographical
maps, though rude by today's standards, are much more accurate than the
earlier commercial maps. (These are also available for
free download at the UNH website - though you will need to piece the maps
1986 Modern USGS
from the US Geological Survey. Accurate topography
helps to show landforms which might - or might not - be suitable for roads,
then or now.
The same area is shown on these 3 maps. The 1869 shows
the north-south road already stubbed off, but the loop road going easterly
does not yet exist. The 1908 USGS map shows a driveway loop to the
south which later - 1986 at least, and on the 1996 USGS map - has become the
main east-west road. The 1996 USGS map shows the old east-west road as
a dashed line.
Whole-town only - not including villages*
Paper prints at 1"=2000'.
Printed on large sheets of paper. 2003 Modern Map
is printed on
transparent paper for quick comparisons.
Size varies with the town - about 20" x 24"
Shipped rolled in a tube. Allow 3 weeks for delivery.
Click Here to ask us to make a Compilation Map)
The 6 Maps
1)1850s wall map.
2) ca. 1870 "Beers"
3) early 1900s USGS (1893-1941)
4) 1990s USGS
5) 1986 State Hwy Map
6) 2003 State Hwy Map
Set of 6 Town Overlay Maps for Road Research
" and CDROM (JPEG files**)
**** Set of 6 Town Overlay Maps CDROM ONLY
(shipping / handling)
To order a set of these maps, print a copy of this page, write your town
here: ________________. Write a check for $200 for the paper set (or
$230 for paper +CD; or $150 for CD only). Make your check payable to
Old Maps and mail to PO Box 54, West Chesterfield, NH
03466. Please allow 3 weeks for delivery, as these maps are made to order.
(Call 413-772-2801 days if you have any questions).
* Many of the old maps include village detail maps in addition to the
town-wide maps. These villagel maps are not printed to scale in the
scaled Town Overlay Maps offering, but unscaled paper prints of them are
How we make the Overlay Maps: An accurate base map is made
using the 2003 Vermont AOT street map at 1" = 2000', and then the other maps are printed
out at the same scale and size. For the modern and old USGS maps this
requires that we scan and combine sheets (many towns are on more than one USGS
sheet). The older maps (wall maps and "Beers") are tricky because they
weren't made by accurate surveys. We use road intersections to
calculate the scaling factor rather than town lines or the stated scale on
the map. This assures that the overlays are as close as possible to
the modern map. When using the older maps, you should consider
their lack of precision when doing road analysis.