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 “Sanborn Map Fire Insurance Map, 1928, Site Key” and “U.S. Coast Survey Map San Buenaventura and Vicinity, 1855.”

Map 4: U.S. Coast Survey Map San Buenaventura and Vicinity, 1855. 20″ x 25″. Map no. MNC 003

Considered to be the nation’s “first scientific agency,”—brought into existence by Thomas Jefferson in 1807—the U.S. Coast Survey (after 1878 known as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey) attracted some of the most talented scientists, artists and naturalists of the time including Louis Agassiz, James McNeill Whistler and even John Muir, who served as a guide and artist for the Great Basin of Nevada and Utah. This map, filed with the Coast Survey office in March 1870, is based on a survey conducted in 1855. It is easily the most requested map in the Research Library (see enlargement of this map containing Mission complex, orchard and garden grounds, including present site of this museum). Be on the lookout! A virtual exhibit of Patterns on the Land is available here.

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