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Friends of Beckley Furnace -- area topographic maps

Beckley Furnace Area Topographic Maps

It is interesting to see the rather small topographic impact the Iron business made at the years when it was at its peak.  Despite the fact that the three maps on this page are in different scales, the first two are most notable for what is NOT shown in the Beckley area.

Topographic map of Beckley Furnace area -- 1897

Above, from the Sheffield Quadrangle, 1897 (15 minute series), USGS
On this map, Beckley is found at the road intersection an inch or so southwest (left) of the East Canaan village, on the Blackberry River.  Assuming that the map above is accurate (generally a poor assumption for any topo map done before the advent of photographic confirmation by air of field  mapping), the devastation of the 1896 fire must have been extraordinary, eliminating most structures on both sides of the road.  

In the photo on the right, the furnace can be seen peeping out above the building on the right (with the rounded top).  The stone wall still present on the uphill side of the road is visible in this picture in the left center.  (The photo is from Scrap Book of North Canaan, published circa 1897)

Beckley Furnace -- before the fire of 1896
1900 topographic map -- Beckley Furnace area It's this kind of thing that makes one question old topographic maps!  Although the scale is larger, the 1900 "remapping" of the area shows NO additional structures on the Beckley site, even though we know that the supporting structures had been rebuilt and the furnace had been back in blast for some time before 1900.  One wonders if the surveyors did not just say "Oh, just some factory buildings there..." and decide to re-use the 1897 survey.
above, from the Housatonic Quadrangle, 1900 (30 minute series), USGS
1949 topographic map -- Beckley Furnace area
Above from the Ashley Falls Quadrangle, 1949 (7 1/2 minute series), USGS
There's clearly more detail present in the 1949 map, as would be expected given the scale of this map, but also given the fact that by this time surveys were subjected to at least limited comparison with aerial photographs.  Viewed from the ground, however, even this more accurate map raises questions.  For example, where is the Beckley furnace?  Where is the residence adjacent to the former paymaster's office (which appears to be the sole building on the river side of Lower Road in this area)?  
Friends of the Beckley Furnace to go to the Friends of Beckley Furnace website

To the Iron industry page to go to our Iron page

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Between the Lakes Group is located at 372 Between the Lakes Road, in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut.  More specifically, we're in Taconic -- a hamlet  in the Twin Lakes area of the Town of Salisbury.  Questions about us or about our products?  Go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.  

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