Ever wonder how many cows your great great grandfather owned? Did they raise apples or potatoes? Did they manage the local mill and employ workers? Maybe grandma ran the local hattery? Ancestry.com and many other resources provide the “manuscript” census schedules for use with family history but most have not digitized and made available the hand-written schedules from the “non-population” census surveys. These schedules collected, frequently by the same census taker, collected data on industrial, agricultural, and social development. As early as 1810 the nation was interested in manufacturing establishments, but not until 1840 were printed schedules, entitled “Schedules of Mines, Agriculture, Commerce, Manufacturers, etc.” used, and not until 1850 was the statistical methodology considered successful.
One of the earliest and most requested items we have at the Monroe County History Center’s Research Library is entitled “A New Gazetteer Map of Monroe County, Indiana” dated 1856. We link to a few of our favorite maps on our web page, but there are a couple of other online sources for early Indiana and Bloomington and Monroe County maps.
Indiana Historic Maps includes more than 1200 scanned maps from Indiana, including more than 43 from Bloomington/Monroe County. Most date before 1923 so copyright is not a question, but other maps in the public domain are included when possible. Like the 1856 map mentioned above, there are maps from 1920 (Van Buskirk), 1930 (Clevenger), and 1950 (Stapleton) that indicate land owners or cadastral maps. One of my favorite maps of A Road Map of Monroe County by the Indiana Geological Survey dates to 1906 before roads were “numbered”. Another is the Detail Geological Map of the Vicinity of Bloomington, Indiana dated 1896 showing Hunter Valley.