Friday, April 13, 2012

San Diego Historical Maps

I love maps, especially historical maps.  Especially for San Diego, which I think I know intimately.  Canyons, plateaus, streams, streets, roads, buildings, waterlines, etc.

J. Paul Hawthorne, the CGSSD President, posted about a San Diego City Planning website today on Facebook with a number of historic maps in large PDF files.  The site is

There are links to a number of historical maps from the U.S. Geological Survey, Census Enumeration Districts, an Auto Club Map, a land plat map, etc.  What a gold mine.

Here is a snippet from the earliest map available of central San Diego (USGS Map, 1904):

What a fascinating document!  I zoomed in on the 30th Street neighborhood I grew up in:

The map image has enough resolution that I can zoom in to see what buildings were up in 1904.  As you may have guessed, I can see the two Carringer houses:

The third street up from the bottom of the image above is Hawthorn Street.  The middle street of the three running parallel in the middle of the image above is 30th Street.  The house at the corner of Hawthorn and 30th Streets is the house my great-grandparents built in the late 1890s, and that I grew up in (after a second floor was added and the house moved to the middle of the block in the 1920s).  The D.J. Carringer house is one block north and one block to the west at the corner of 30th and Ivy Streets.

I'll post about another very useful map on this site soon.

Thank you, Paul, for sharing the website URL on Facebook.  He was down at the County Administration Building today looking at San Diego Deed Index books (and the deed books on microfilm, I think)!  I need to do that some day soon.

Have you looked online, or been to the County or City administrative offices for your city or town?  Do they have historical maps like this that you might be able to use in your research?

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

This adds so much to our "feeling of knowing our family better!" Good for you. Thanks for sharing!

I love old maps, too... cannot help saying it, even though self-evident! ;-)

Tracing Ancestors, an a3Genealogy Partner said...

Thanks so much for this post and kudos to J. Paul!