Michigan State University

Map of the State of Michigan and the Surrounding Country, Exhibiting the Sections and the Latest Surveys.

By John Farmer. Published in Detroit in 1855.

John Farmer built a successful map making and publishing company in Detroit.  His series of maps, published from 1824 to his death in 1859, show an extraordinary level of detail down to the square mile which made it easy for settlers to locate land parcels by their legal descriptions.  As popular as Farmer’s maps were, their extremely thin paper and numerous folds ensured that few would survive to our day.  This is the only known copy of the 1855 map in the United States.  If you zoom all the way in you can see tiny dotted lines that indicate roads, such as the one running from Hamilton (later called Okemos) down through the now vanished settlement of Jefferson to the town of Mason.

This map was a generous gift of Dr. Carl Liedholm.

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