Monday, April 18, 2016

Using maps to tell a story

I believe that genealogy, history and maps go hand in hand.  It's been a great "map week" for me with lots of interesting BLM of all places.

This first one is an 1882 survey of Cotopaxi - the "original" survey which means there wasn't a government survey done prior to this date.  This is most of section 31.  Cotopaxi is in the north 1/2 of the north quarter (N1/2NW1/4) of section 31, Township 48 R 12E.  So the center of town (where the RR crosses the CR12)  today is just about the bottom of the number "6" in 34.64

I could probably do an entire class on reading township sections, quarters, sixteenths and so on.  Back east, townships have names and are well known.  Out one ever uses a township, except when it comes to land descriptions.

(Copyright protected***)

A couple of important things to note.

1)  The road north of the tracks is on the west side of the creek.  Today, it is on the east side.
2)  The tracks seem to be too close to the river to have 2 houses between them.  Were the original tracks closer to the Arkansas than they are today?  Is the map to scale?  I have a document that says, "the old rr tracks" and shows that line south of where the tracks are today.
3)  The creek on the north side goes farther west than it is today.  This is verified by many mine claims that state it was 1/2 mile between Bernard Creek and Oak Grove Creek.
4)  Neither the road to the north or the road to the south meet at Cotopaxi - both curve to the west.  This would confirm the oral history that there was a ford in the river about 1/2 mile west of Cotopaxi.
5)  The red printed area says "Cotopaxi Placer No 286"

so the next thing I did was try to find No 286.  I thought I was looking for a plat like above.  Ends up it was a placer mining claim and in it, there was an 1884 plot of Cotopaxi.

(Copyright protected***)

So 2 years later, the road is now east of Bernard Creek and crosses the Arkansas.  BUT....note that the road is to the west of both stores and the house, just to the east of the water tower.  Still NOT where the road is today.  

This map gives me a bit more information:

1)  It labels Cotopaxi Gulch (known as Miner's gulch today)
2)  Identifies Saltiel's house as the "dwelling house" and I have documents that use this in the description
3)  Shows me 2 stores and a hotel.....about where I thought they were
4)  Gives us a freight house, depot and section house for the railroad - which is what I thought was there.
5)  Gives me a location for a ditch that is shown in several documents
6)  Shows a "new" wagon road north of the tracks, south of Saltiel's place, going west and then north...up to the Cotopaxi mine.
7.  Shows a space from Hart's store and hotel going east to the "houses".

This open space has been identified as the "lower orchard" on a number of documents.  Then we have the attached Shuteran/Nudelman house.  These were Colonists.  I wonder if Saltiel had the Jew's homes built to the east of town, away from the gentiles.  It would make sense.  Supposedly there were 6 houses in town by the fall of 1882 according to Schwartz.  Guess I need to go do some more research to see what I can find.

Shuteran and Nudelman sold their attached house to Annie Hart and she then sold it to Susan McCoy.  It became known in the documents as the "McCoy double house".  I was able to track it to the current location today.  We think the original "double house" was torn down and another structure was put on this land.  But we do know it was located at the east end of town and this map would confirm that.

Using maps, land declarations, property transactions and now mining claims....I'm gradually building a story of how Cotopaxi was built from nothing to what it was in 1882 - 1884 when the Jewish Colonists resided there.....and then to today's current homes.  

The "dwelling house" on this map later became the Hylton Hotel.  The store & P. O. and the hotel to the east of it belonged to E. S. Hart who was Saltiel's cousin.  Making progress - one map at a time!

***Why do I say "Copyright protected"?  Because you do not have the right to take the research that I've done and use it on your website/book/story etc without my written permission.   Feel free to schedule some time with me and I'll gladly show you how to do the research yourself!!!

*****  All content is copyright protected and may not be copied, reproduced, reused or reposted in any manner without permission.

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