From Student Researcher William Alexander;
Today’s map is of the city of Beeville, which is the center of the Pennyfenner collection. The majority of our documents come from the offices of Fenner, Whalen, and Penney, who were all the County Surveyors for Bee County, headquartered in Beeville. We archivists have gotten very familiar with the city; I think I’m almost to the point of knowing its street names and layout better than that of my home town (of course, my hometown doesn’t have a Star Trek Dr next to Sunkist Dr, so maybe the issue is with memorability).
This city map caught our attention for a couple of reasons. The first of which is that we love maps with lots of streets. They’re the best thing for our georectification process, which means that when see a street grid with this much detail, we know that we’re going to get a good rectification for our efforts. Secondly, the map is in good shape for its age, being from 1947. Lastly, after rectifying, when overlaid onto Google Earth satellite view, the map is incredibly accurate across still extant streets. This makes for a really good comparison with the streets that are shown on the map that don’t exist today. Particularly in NW Beeville, most of the area covered under “Beeville Land Improvement Company Addition” does not appear to have ever been developed as according to the map.
The level of detail extends even into the rail lines going through the city; if you look around the center of the city there the two lines intersect, you can see where the lines develop little branches, presumably to service stations, depots, passenger stations and the like. We haven’t seen many maps showing the inter-city layout of the rail system like this within the collection; although the lines are pulled up now, this information would be of use for any historical researcher attempting to place stations and depots that have long been torn down.
That’s all we have for today. ‘til next time.