1874, unedited

Downtown Loop-4/7/2008: This map is NOT final!


Here I will list all of the maps that I know to exist, most of which I have been able to get at least a photocopy of. The ones I need I will indicate. Also I will describe what information they contain, particularly that which I have been unable to find anywhere else BUT that map. For some time I have been trying to round up the location of all the known maps, and try to get them more available to the public. So now as you can see below this is coming to a reality on the City's new Historic Maps section on their website. Now for the first time anyone on the planet has easy access to these valuable research tools!

10/15/2009: The MN DNR now has their AERIAL PHOTOS on their website! Although not really a map, they are a valuable research tool much like one, so I will list them here. These photos started in 1939 and repeated every 8 or 10 years, so on the site you can pick your decade, even the type of photo. Look below under the year 1939.

NOTE: A Sanborn map is a known as a Fire Insurance Map, and contains information on what the insurance company, and fire fire dept., might need to know. Here you will find what the building was made of, what type of roofing it had and where the closest hydrants were. For some reason a lot do contain penciled-in updates, I suppose between issues of the map, and often the names of the businesses listed on the block. Some even have a notation of when it may have burned! I have a legend which will tell you how to read one of these maps, so just request one and I'll send it to you as an attachment. From

Sanborn fire insurance maps are detailed city plans, usually at scales of 50 or 100 feet to an inch. They show individual building "footprints," complete with construction details, such as building material (brick, adobe, frame, etc.), height (of larger buildings), number of stories, location of doors, windows, chimneys and elevators, use of structure (dwelling, outhouse, hotel, church, etc.), street address, and occasionally the ethnicity of the occupants. Other features shown include lot lines, street widths, water pipes, hydrants and cisterns, and fire-fighting facilities.

-1871: [I need a copy of this one!!!] The CWCHS has a photocopy of this tightly sealed in a frame, so somewhere must exist the original from which it was copied. There is no record of its donor. Includes:
A) The date 1871 above the word Minnesota, in pinted block, not just written in.
B) Below that is: The Lake Superior and Puget Sound Co, proprietors, scale 300 feet to an inch, and Joseph E. Turner, CE (?), surveyor

4/4/2008: I just got these first 3 maps below from the city. They are available for viewing on a website provided by the City, under Maps, then City Plats. Thanks to Shawn Strong for his help with maps!

4/20/2009: Last fall I did a bit of "runner work" and brought a 1917 Sanborn map that the City did not have but the CWCHS did have to Shawn, and in exchange he had a Sanborn Legend ("how to read the map") that the Society did not. This was a good trade for all involved. So now we are doing some more sharing, but this time Shawn suggested we put some of these wonderful maps online on the City site, but rather than under their City Plats section, create an Historic Maps section. So, in a few hours I had it in my inbox! We will be adding even more, and maybe even some photos of old municipal buildings of yesteryear. Check it out here:

-1871: Original Plan

-1872: First Addition to Brainerd

-1881: Second Addition to Brainerd

-1874: Shown above. I found this one from an atlas listed in the Library Of Congress, listed as Legear L1901, which was on the back of a Kandiyohi County map, from the 1874 Andreas Atlas. It does NOT contain the information in A) & B) above. I suspect that although the original plat was done in 1871, in 1874 the map was updated to reflect the buildings, and the date was not changed, thus an 1871 map with 1874 updates. Could that be (I know nothing of the map business!)? According to my research, the first plat was signed Sept. 19, 1871 by Thos. H. Canfield, pres. of the LS & PS Co., drafted by this J.E. Turner. On the 25th. it was filed for record, at which time C.H. Beaulieu, Jr. was Reg. of Deeds for Crow Wing Cty..

I think it's interesting to see on the map above how our little town was doomed to staying little, by the fact that it was already landlocked at least on 3 sides, N, W,& E. Interestingly, over time with bridges the town expanded to the NE until again landlocked, then to the west and beyond to Baxter, yet the wide open south has gone practically nowhere since!

-1875: large (resides at the CWCH/some damage at seams, and Brainerd Public Library/good quality, soon to be on the website!

-1883: Heinz, large (I have a good photocopy, courtesy of Mark Erickson of Kampman Sash & Door Co. of Brainerd, and also an original but badly water-damaged). See the City website above.

-1892: I have an incomplete photocopy, missing Boom Lake south.

-1892 Sanborn. See the City website above.

-1894: large (Resides at the CWCHS.) Coming soon to the City website.

-1899: Sanborn insurance map (I need a copy of.)

-1913: Standard Atlas, Ogle Publishing, donated 2008 by the CWCHS. They have also loaned a copy to the MN Historical Sociery who has digitized it and it can be viewd on their site below. Also see the City site above.,4

-1914: Panoramic artist's rendering, or "bird's eye view". Here is the Library Of Congress site where you can view this map:

1914 Brainerd Panoramic Map

You will see that this is not a geographically-accurate map, but rather a stretched out version of the entire mining district of the time. The detail and labeling in the city of Brainerd is unusally good however. It also gives one a good idea of how one entered the city from different directions, and all of the railroads, even some proposed ones that never materialized.

-1917 Sanborn map: The City of Brainerd has a copy of this now/2009 online.

-1939 Aerial Photos:


-NORTH/SOUTH Brainerd:

-2008: City map, downtown loop, shown above. Notice the streets which were light grey, do not show up! Help!!!!

-1940's Conoco Oil Co.


-1960's NW Paper Co.

2008: There is a map available with all of the addresses, contact me for its web location.