Monday, August 11, 2014

Pondering an Alabama Map (2): Pelham in 1926

Our map this time is a 1926 road map of Shelby County. I found this map in UA's Historical Maps Collection among various maps of the county.

The map was one of many official county road maps completed by the Whitson Map & Blueprint Co. of Birmingham beginning in the 1920s. The company's namesake was Bethel W. Whitson. This map was created by E.A. Turner, presumably a Whitson employee.

Whitson's company is listed in the 1945 Birmingham Yellow Pages under "Maps". Located at 108 1/2 North 21st Street, the firm's phone number was 4-2606. 

Whitson and his family appeared in the 1940 US Census living at 1061 Lakeview Crescent in the City. In addition to his wife Mabel and two daughters, Whitson's mother-in-law and brother-in-law also lived in the household. Whitson was 42 at that time. According to Bhamwiki, the surveyor and cartographer had worked at the Electric Blue Printing Company before starting his own firm. 

The portion of the map shown here includes Pelham and some surrounding towns. In addition to Pelham, we see current towns like Helena, Saginaw, Maylene and "Alabasta". Other towns such as Roebuck, Straven, Siluria, Kestone and Longview have been absorbed by subsequent growth of Pelham and others.

You can read a little more about Keystone in a previous post on this blog. Maybe I'll look into the history of some of the other places in future posts. And just when did "Alabasta" become Alabaster, anyway??

Next map up for pondering: a 1928 map showing Pelham and surrounding area. Then I'll move on to a look at official Alabama highway maps. 

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