Thursday, December 5, 2013

Making Beautiful Historic Maps

A couple years back, I mentioned a San Jose Japantown historic map which showed not only the location of the businesses and community sites for San Jose's center for Japanese-Americans, but also highlighted the canneries clustered around Eighth and Taylor Streets on the edge of Japantown.

I'd missed the fact that Ben Pease, the artist behind that map, has done similar ones for many other California towns with that attracted Japanese immigrants. His Japantown Atlas includes similar maps for San Francisco, Sacramento, Walnut Grove, Lodi, as well as many more towns in Central and Southern California. Many of the immigrant communities were close to the railroads and to the canneries, so if you're researching either the industries, the trains, or the towns, you'll probably be familiar with the locations. The San Luis Obispo Japantown, for example, was a block located just next to the Pacific Coast Railway's yard, helping me better understand the locations around that yard, as mentioned in Tom Knapp's presentation on his Nn3 modular layout at last year's Bay Area Layout Design and Operations Weekend.

And that's a great opening to remind you all that if you're interested in model railroads, history, or model railroad operations, come on over to Alameda on January 25 and 26, 2014 for my favorite model railroad event of the year. The Layout Design and Operations meet is always a great program, with talks, clinics, and layout design advice on Saturday, followed by chances to operate on local model railroads on Sunday.

See y'all there!

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