I love a hand-drawn map, and find this one both exquisitely beautiful in the way it is rendered and quite poetic in its perfect matter of factness. Drawn in black ink (now kind of sepia toned) on an almost vellum-like paper (used by architects in the 19th c.), the map depicts the North Branch coal mine in Garrett County, Maryland, which a little research reveals began operations in 1864, supplied the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and was the subject of a major fraud suit in the 1870s. Included is the name of the mine's president at the time, E.R. Brydon.
I love the labelling of the tram road, carrying loads one way and "emties" the other, then the curve, the "plain," the switch, and the tip, with wagon road and log road branching off. Then, DIRT, plus the Blacksmith shop, and the office to the right, before we finally reach the mine. All connected with this wonderful line drawing of a rail. And great little scale of miles and directional arrows below. For me, this evocative little map is just the sort of thing that ought to give rise to a novel!
9" x 6 3/4". It has been folded in quarters but lies fairly flat, and I've got it sitting under some heavy books to flatten it further. Some light stains and age toning as pictured but the paper is very strong, without tears and not fragile.