Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Historic Map Works Purchases Metsker Maps

Historic Map Works is pleased to announce the acquisition of Metsker Maps, the long running map publishing business from Tacoma, Washington.

During their almost century long run, the Metsker family produced approximately 300 county atlases and 400 county wall maps of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, and Northern California. Scanning the newly acquired maps will add approximately 10,000 images to the 1.2 million map related images already available on www.HistoricMapWorks.com. You can read more about these historic maps and see examples of our first scans from the new collection here.


On a personal note, my husband and I have been using Metsker maps over the course of the last 22 years, for camping, history, local road trips, and the like. They are very common here in Washington, and it's not unusual to see them in any hardware or convenience store. The fact that they were only limited to the West is news to me; I thought they had mapped the entire U.S., and always planned to purchase some for my ancestral locations:

Unlike many publishers of the time who limited themselves to publishing maps of more developed areas, the Metsker family excelled at recording the history of the then rural and wilderness geographies. Many of our users already use Metsker Maps to study the boundary changes to state and national parks as well as helping land use enthusiast to locate former logging trails, timber camps, gold mines, and other areas of industry which flourished and then quietly faded away during the Northwest's various booms and busts. In many instances, the only way to locate these now ghost towns and overgrown roads is to look on a map published by Metsker Maps.

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