- Apr 22, 2009
- Reaction score
- Port Angeles, WA
You might check with your county assessor's office to see if they maintain an archive of old plat maps. Some of the older vintage types show individual buildings in the rural areas, not just the property boundaries and ownership. A 1910 plat book in the library reference section of a county where I once lived in western Washington was of the former type and it lead me to several nice digs in 1970-71. Conversely, I could only find the type of plat maps with property lines and ownership notation for the next county north of there.Does anyone know where I can find historical maps that show where old houses and old dumps use to be?
Reasoning that more than just one family would have occupied the location and contributed to the dump in an age before long commutes in private vehicles were common, I concentrated on mill sites and logging camps mostly. When I spotted a likely prospect on the plat, I would check the location against a modern map to see if reference roads and landmarks were substantially unchanged. If the area didn't appear to have been obliterated by sprawl--that process is downright convenient today with Google Earth--I would drive out to a reference point on a road, then hike in and try to find evidence of the old buildings or historical activity. Although, using a pitchfork, I mostly probed out trash dumps that had been obscured by forest duff and overgrown with moss, ferns, salal and berry vines, I sometimes also got into the creeks where bits of glass, pottery and bricks were good signs that I was on track!