Monthly Archives: April 2014

Maps improve after Moberly’s survey of the Shuswap

James Wyld’s 1844 map published by Charles Wilkes, courtesy of Derek Hayes and the David Rumsey Collection

The 1841 map of the Oregon Territory published by exploration leader Charles Wilkes was used by the U.S. for its claim of the Puget Sound. The prolific British commercial mapmaker James Wyld later published it along with many other B.C. maps. We will never know where the odd design of “Shouswap Lake” in this map came from, as it appears with minor arms and no less than 11 islands! And this creative interpretation continued in more maps, including one produced by the Royal Engineers in 1859. Yet in Wyld’s 1858 gold rush map, only one island remains and the lake is shaped like a salmon, with “Indian Diggings” on the north side and “gold” on the south side.

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Roots and Blues 2013 – In the Groove

Clues and mysteries in old maps

The 2012 book British Columbia, A New Historical Atlas by Derek Hayes provides an insightful look at the history of the province using old maps. Beginning with the first, hand drawn map of this region from 1814 by famed explorer David Thompson to the Surveyor’s General 1915 map, the shape of Shuswap Lake changed as cartographers became increasingly more accurate. These maps provide clues about our region’s history as they show the locations of old trails, wagon roads and communities and they show how well the geography was understood at that time. And there are mysteries surrounding some of the names and the spellings, and the sources of the mapmaker’s information.

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