- Apr 22, 2009
- Reaction score
- Port Angeles, WA
Neither all streams nor all structures are always shown on all maps. It really depends on the purpose and vintage of a map, together with the surveyor's and cartographer's skill. While Township, Range and Section lines can be quite accurate when compared with modern maps, stream courses on old maps are often little more than educated guesswork. The simple reason for this is that the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) was established to divide land in preparation for sale settlement. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Land_Survey_System) And geographical, hydrological and geological features were considered of secondary interest to the main purpose of establishing townships (not a townsite, but the 36-square-mile land division) to get the lands sold and occupied in order to produce revenue. Obviously, the early surveyors and cartographers were not working from aerial stereo photographs or satellite imagery as the much more recent map makers often were and are.Well, it's not in a ravine exactly. It's a flat area between two hills in such a way that they couldn't have just chucked them off the top. I'm thinking there was an old home or a road which led there, as the hills come together just past the dump so that there's no exit in that direction. I think I said earlier that the stream ends as you walk towards that direction (which is shown on today's maps). I just checked maps from 1909-1936 and that stream doesn't appear anywhere. Strangely enough, there's no marker of a home being there during either 1909 or 1936, so unless it only stood in the years between I'm at a loss (I figured that a family would stay in a home they built longer than that span of time, but I may be wrong). It runs downhill from the direction of that coming together of hills, so there's no stream to be diverted and it has always flowed so it probably isn't runoff. Doesn't smell like sewage or contain any other trash. I'll have to check whether there's a pipe and if it gives any hints. Definitely not a very traditional dump or like any I've dug before--it leaves me with a lot of questions!
Edit: It seems like the stream appears in in an 1899 map. Maybe it was just too small to be worth drawing on the later maps. Still no home sight on that 1899 map, however. I'll look for some between 1909 and 1936.
Does your 1899 map show topography (contour lines)? Are the 1909 and 1936 maps without? If your 1899 map is a USGS map, generally, I would trust stream locations on it more than a map produced for primarily property recording and taxation purposes.