Maps Maps Everywhere .. But Which One Do I Use ?

As I stated before, I have been playing around with the idea of doing some sort of Mapping Project with my hometown Elora, Ont. Unfortunately for me, the mapping assignment we as a class did with Jenny Marvin in the library basement was the first and only time I had any experience with working with maps and I had NO idea where to start for my own project.

So I made an appointment with the Data Resource Centre at school and received a lot of help ! The women assisting me (Paula) had already started to research for historical maps of Elora before I had even arrived for my appointment and from there she was able to show me a) how to research and find maps myself b) how to extract current maps from online and save them. She was very thorough and extremely helpful for a beginner such as myself. The unfortunate part was that our research did for the most part come up empty handed as our University Library does not seem to have fire insurance maps for Elora, although oddly enough we were able to find maps for Fergus and Elmira (neighbouring towns). My next step we decided would probably be to contact the Wellington County Museum and search through any maps they have there. Luckily I contacted them and was able to search through their online catalog. This catalog provides a description of the map without actually revealing what it looks like, so I am able to find those that will be useful for the type of research I am conducting without copying the map from online.

I haven’t had time to head over the Museum yet but I did come across a few old maps that my Grandma saved over the years that I believe I could use to my advantage for my project.

PampletMapPic This is a hand drawn Map included in a Pamplet of what the town would have looked like in 1845. The shops, houses and churches are labelled with number and the column along the side gives a brief description of each.

HistoricialAtlasMapPic This Map was taken from The Historical Atlas of Wellington County published in 1906. I was using my computer scanner when copying this so unfortunately it did cut off a good chunk of the town. This map is particularly useful when comparing roads and landscape such as the river. Houses and buildings are indicated in terms of location but no description is given on what they actually were.

MuseumMapPicLastly, this is a copy of a map my Dad scanned from the Museum. In order to use this map for my project I would need to speak with the archives center first and make sure a copyright issue wouldn’t come forward. This map is useful for both road locations and description of towns and houses. Unfortunately there is no date indicated but my Grandfather seems to think it would have been from the 1950’s, as my Grandma’s beauty shop is labelled with her married name Bergin but she closed down shortly after they were wed in 1949.

I am particularly happy that I am seeing progress and potential for my project. I believe if I can get my hands on some older fire insurance maps of the town, and pinpoint them in a mapping project with a current layout of the town, more specifically the town area, I will be able to see significant alterations and growth of Elora, Ont. over the years. Even by studying these few maps it is clear that the small village began to flourish into a quaint little town in just over a few decades or so.

Here are some pictures of the town that I found in my Grandma’s collection, most of them taken around the 1950’s. I thought just for fun I could go around and take current pictures and compare them.

Bissel Park, Elora
Bissel Park, Elora
Center of Town, Elora
Center of Town, Elora
Downtown, 1960
Downtown, 1960

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