Patterns on the Land, an exhibit of faithful reproductions of rare maps from the museum’s Research Library and Archives collection, was first on display at Ventura City Hall in May 2019, followed by the Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula in February 2020. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing many of the maps featured in Patterns on the Land and the stories they tell.

This week we will explore the “Jesse Jefferson Howard Murder Trial in 1877” and “Automobile Club of Southern California Strip Map of 1915).

Map 2: Automobile Club of Southern California “strip map” 1915. “Famous Missions in California on El Camino Real (Part Two: Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo)” Series no. 40.

The Automobile Club of Southern California produced a series of maps, printed on heavy card stock, from 1911 to 1940. These maps were designed specifically for the motorist and often came in small packet secured by a linen tie (see example in exhibit case). However, if you look at the compass carefully, you will see the initials “A.C.” and “B.C.,” which acknowledges the fact that the “Good Roads Movement,”—a movement to improve the condition of roads across the nation (1870s-1920s)—was a collaboration of automobile clubs and bicycle clubs. This particular map was created by cartographer “E.J.B.,” which stands for Elmer J. Brown, who also designed the bell logo for the Automobile Club.

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