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What Happens When One Projects an 1821 Map onto a 1953 Map?

Equivalent Map Sections adjacent to Long Level area from 1821 Map by D. Small & W. Wagner and 1953 Topographic Map with Road Names Added

Last Friday in my post about the Christian Rathfon Family History I noted that only a few surnames are noted on maps during the early 1800s.  In examining the Rodfang spelling variant on an 1821 map I raised the question what happens when one projects an 1821 map onto a 1953 map?  In this post we’ll do just that and examine potential finds.

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It was possible to identify Klines Run and Canadochly Creek on the section of the 1821 Map by D. Small & W. Wagner as seen at the beginning of my the post last Friday.  That 1821 Map section was further enlarged until the creeks in the 1821 map were an equivalent size and distance apart to those creeks in a section of a 1953 Topographic Map.  The following combined map is the result when the 1821 map section in projected onto the 1953 topographic map section, while roughly aligning the creeks and river.

Projection of an Equivalent Section of the 1821 Map by D. Small & W. Wagner onto a 1953 Topographic Map in an area adjacent to Long Level in Lower Windsor Township

One thing that popped out was the alignment of the road leading inland near the Canadochly Creek.  It starts at the Susquehanna River about where the Zimmerman Center for Heritage is now located.  It proceeds west up through a natural gully and then down another natural gully to one of the few sections of the Canadochly Creek near the river that had reasonably wide shores.  Could the creek be forded easily here?  The road proceeds up another natural gully on the south side of the creek and eventually meets at a crossroads about where the current Calvary Church Road intersects the road leading out of East Prospect.

Terrain Map from Trails.com (Notations and path added by S. H. Smith)

It is a reasonable assumption that the road path that I just described could have first been an Indian path.  A logical Susquehannock Indian path inland for the 1674 village in this area is possible, especially when one notes the village location along such a path.  I’ve taken the black dashed area of the large map and utilized a terrain map detail to show the natural location for trails leading from the village to the river and the village to the creek.  To have the trail continue inland through a natural gully on the other side of the creek is likely considering the closer confines of the creek-bed just upstream.

Darvin L. Martin describes the 1674 Susquehannock Indian Village on page 16 of his book A Clash of Cultures

Excavations in the early 1970s revealed a stockade, enclosing an area of about 163,000 square feet and housing an estimated 900 residents.  Outside the stockade there are at least four distinct native cemeteries, with burials of over 200 people.

The 1674 Susquehannock Indian Village site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Byrd Leibhart site.  The site is now within the boundaries of the York County Native Lands Park.  Is it a coincidence that such a road on the 1821 map closely follows this possible indian path inland?  What do you think?  Please reply to this post if you have an opinion.

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