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Antrim County Community Home Page>Antrim County History>1928 Cover Map and Forest & Economic Report

Cover Map & Forest and Economic Report (1928)
Land Cover Map (1928)
In 1928, the Land Economic Survey of the Michigan Department of Conservation published a land Cover Map of Antrim County and also a Forest and Economic Report of Antrim County. These two publications were printed a single sheet, with the Cover Map on one side and the Forest and Economic Report on the reverse side. The work was based on field work conducted around 1923.

A copy of these publications was recently re-discovered in Elk Rapids (see related story below), and is available for viewing at the Elk Rapids Area Historical Society museum in Elk Rapids, Antrim County, Michigan.

Text of the Forest and Economic Report
These two documents are interesting historically for the
snapshots they provide of the land use and land cover in Antrim County ca. 1923. The Cover Map gives a very detailed indication of the types of forest and land cover in Antrim County at that time. It also plots the physical location of settlements and individual dwelling units in rural areas. The Report provides an interesting overall history of the County, as well as a detailed account of the contemporary demographic and economic statistics of the County.

The Cover Map and the Forest and Economic Report are provided herein as two separate JPG files (each 5,000 x 5,000 pixels), with each file at about 20.9 MB in size. At a future date, we hope to make the Forest and Economic Report available as a text file download.

The Cover Map and the Report were scanned into digital format by the Land Information Access Association (LIAA) in Traverse City. LIAA can, upon request, plot the Cover Map at cost at their Traverse City office.

Click on the links below to download the two files.
Download the 1928 Documents:
Article from The Town Meeting (Elk Rapids)
Tim McKenzie and Glenn Neuman [Click here to view full size picture]
2004 UpNorth Publications Inc.

Elk Rapids Village Employee Tim McKenzie and historical society president Glenn Neumann look over a 1923 Antrim County map, discovered twice by McKenzie. The color map is currently on display at the Elk Rapids Area Historical Society Museum.

Second time around
Vintage county map discovered again, during recent move

BY DAVE LEIN, Town Meeting Editor

The only thing better than discovering an old treasure, is finding it all over again.

Over 15 years ago, village department of public works employee Tim McKenzie was removing trash from the library when he came across something that caught his eye.

"There were a couple of old maps kind of bundled together," McKenzie said. "The color on the one caught my eye."

What McKenzie discovered was a "fairly-recent" black and white map of Charlevoix County, along with a larger map of Antrim County.

"The Antrim County map was the one that really opened my eyes," he said. "It was big, full of color, and it looked pretty old. My jaw dropped when I saw all the detail."

After further examination, McKenzie realized that his find was a Land Economic Survey Map from the Department of Conservation. Published around 1924-25, the document includes a wealth of information collected in 1923.

"It shows everything schools, fire towers, uplands, lowlands, open wild land, bogs, marshes, occupied homes, resort homes, hotels, farms, soil types, tree types you name it, it's on there."

In addition, the map includes infrastructure data like paved roads, roads with telephone service and/or telegraph service, first-class dirt roads and second-class dirt roads.

When asked the difference between first and second-class dirt roads, McKenzie laughed and said maybe the first-class were about to be paved, while the second class were awaiting improvements.

The back side provides additional detailed information on land use, parcel cost by township, along with crop-yield data

After finding the maps in the mid-to-late 80s, McKenzie passed them on to then village manager Steve Stilwell.

"I wasn't sure what to do with them, especially the Antrim County one, because the museum wasn't really set up back then," he said.

Once the maps were given to the village, they were pretty much forgotten.

Flash forward to 2004. As McKenzie and his fellow DPW workers were assisting with the village's move from the old office downtown to its new location on Bridge Street, the map was discovered once again.

"I don't know if it was stuffed in a drawer or between file cabinets, or wherever but there it was again. This time I knew what to do with it."

McKenzie marched it down the street to Glenn Neumann at the Elk Rapids Area Historical Museum.

"I knew Glenn would take good care of it, and that it would be in safe hands with the historical society."

Neumann was impressed.

"It really is quite a unique map," Neumann said, "especially with all the detail, plus it's in pretty good shape.

"We plan to have black and white copies made of the front and back, and then try and find out more about it," he added. "It makes you wonder if these were done for every county in Michigan. It sure would have taken a lot of resources, and a fair amount of money back then."

McKenzie is just happy the map isn't lost for good.

"Sure the information is interesting, but it's pretty cool to know that this map was also important to someone else," he said while pointing to the relic's margin.

Written there, in light pencil, are the scrawled words "Take up north for cabin."

A map like that would probably come in handy, especially if your unoccupied resort home was located on a second-class dirt road.
This page last updated on 1/20/2005.
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