Casefile Clues

26 May 2012

USGS Historical Maps Help Me Find Little America School

This is part of the 1933 United States Geological Survey Map at the 62500 scale for Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois.


What is really neat about this specific map is that it shows cemeteries and schools. Several of the local one-room school houses can be seen in this 1933 map, including the one where my father attended in the 1940s--Little America School. It's location is actually to the left of the words on the map. There are several other schools shown on this map as well and the railroad that went by the Young America has been abandoned for decades.

This map was located on the USGS Historical Maps collection homepage http://nationalmap.gov/historical/.

Searching for the maps is slightly difficult, at least in my opinion. Searches for the free maps require you to know the name of the map. Names of the maps frequently go with geographic features and the map lines do not always follow township lines.


Even though I had no intention of paying for a map, I chose that option so that I could find the names of the topo maps that covered the area of interest.  I clicked on the second link on the main page--the "USGS Store: map Locator and Downloader." I wasn't going order, but it was easier to use a map-based search.


With some navigation and a little knowledge of the area, I determined the name I needed.



Then I went back to the home page http://nationalmap.gov/historical/, clicked on the Historical Topographic Map Collection Search and entered in the word "carthage. "

That resulted in:


I clicked on the "Download GeoPDF" link and got my file.

Pretty interesting stuff.

Feel free to post comments. I wanted to share this with readers and if I wait for the time to make the perfect post, it's going to be several weeks.

Note: I have always known where the "Little America" schoolhouse was. I've heard about my Dad walking to it a few times and the location is near where I grew up.

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