U.S. History: Original Survey Maps of Michigan Township Parcels Now Available Online
The Archives of Michigan [recently] announced that the original survey maps of Michigan’s 1,400 individual township parcels have been scanned and are now available to search, browse and print at www.seekingmichigan.org.
The maps included in the collection at Seeking Michigan document land surveys that were conducted by the federal government to lay out Michigan’s township and range grid system. Some maps documenting later resurveys are also included. The maps show bodies of water and land formations throughout the state. They can be searched by township name or by coordinates.
The initial survey of the state of Michigan was conducted primarily between 1815 and 1860. The federal government contracted land surveyors who earned between $3 and $4.25 per mile, which covered payment of their crews and supplies. Crews usually conducted surveys in the winter because their line of sight was improved and they could walk across frozen lakes and ponds. It took about 20 days to survey a township with two surveyors, two axe men to trim brush, and two chain men.
This project was funded by a cooperative agreement with the Michigan Office of Land Survey and Remonumentation. The Archives of Michigan is currently working with that office to scan the land surveyors’ original field notebooks and make the images available at Seeking Michigan.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.