After reading about the loss of two more summer residences in Chatham due to the shifting of tides and erosion of beach, I thought it might be interesting to take a look through our map collection to find maps of Chatham and the Nauset Beach area.
The map at left was published in 1873 as part of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Document 65, the Seventh Annual Report of the Board of Harbor Commissioners. This map is particularly interesting as it reproduces Captain Champlain's map of Chatham from 1606 (lower right corner). Additionally, coastal surveys from 1853, 1868 and 1872 are included to show the movement of land over time. Click on the image to view a larger version.
The second map at left was published in 1874 as part of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Document 65, the Eighth Annual Report of the Board of Harbor Commissioners. I find this map particularly interesting because of the notes throughout the map that describe how the areas changed over the lifetimes of the mapmaker's patriarchal line. A note at the very bottom of the map reads: "A Sketch, (as handed down to me) of Nauset and Monomoy beaches, as they existed, in the days of my Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and Great Great Grandfather I find by the Records the last settled at Chatham in 1684." Click on the image to view a larger version, where other notes can be read.
To view the original maps or House documents relating to the maps, please stop by the Special Collections Department of the State Library.
- Lacy Crews, Preservation Librarian