Friday, February 12, 2010

A First Time for Everything

Today I was cataloging some recent arrivals for our government documents collection for which we had failed to receive (at least to date) records from Marcive. One of these documents was a map of the Holly Springs and Tombigbee National Forests in Mississippi which is near the area in which I grew up. As I began to look at the map, I noticed that they had labeled U.S. 78 not only U.S. 78 but also Interstate 22. Now, those of us who have travelled that road frequently know that the corridor is the "Future I-22" so I was a bit surprised to already see its new moniker on an official government map.

As I began to think about this, I thought of all the street name changes I've encountered over the years. For example, the 1930 census of Amory, Mississippi includes the street names for the town, but they do not match up with present-day street names. I was eventually able to pinpoint most of the locations by asking my parents. Even they did not remember the old names for the streets, but they were able to tell me the locations of the streets when I told them who lived on the streets. I'm sure that if I'd gone to the trouble of locating an older map of the town that I might have been able to find the names of the streets and then compare to a newer map to identify the present-day locations. After all, there was a "first time" that the new name appeared on a map.

By the way, this particular national forest map would be useful for persons researching areas near the national forests because it shows the sections, townships, and ranges for of not only the forest itself but also the nearby land. The main part of Holly Springs National Forest shows significant portions of Benton, Marshall, Union, Lafayette, and Pontotoc Counties. The Yalobusha Unit for that county shows a large part of Yalobusha County and a small part of Grenada County. For the Tombigbee National Forest, the Trace Unit map shows a large portion of Chickasaw County, some of Pontotoc County, and a couple of sections in Lee County. The Ackerman Unit map shows a significant amount of Winston County and parts of Choctaw and Oktibbeha Counties. The interesting thing is that landmarks such as churches are also identified on the map as well as bodies of water (down to the creek level).

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