Early Maps of Galena and Illinois – Temporary Exhibit 2nd floor of the Museum
Those who had the opportunity to attend the Historical Society’s annual meeting in April heard Curator Ray Werner’s presentation on the maps of Galena and the broader northwest Illinois region. Werner’s discussion showed how the attention to cartography (the drawing of maps) can provide insight into the settlement, growth, demographics and daily life of a region, as well as the movement of populations within that area.
Didn’t make it to the lecture? Don’t despair! This new museum exhibit, opens Nov. 3, and uses many of those same maps and lessons as the basis for a fresh examination of Galena as seen through the eyes of the cartographers of the day.
The temporary exhibit will feature antique maps from the collection of Dan Loescher of Rockford, Ill., some of which he has donated to the society and others that are on-loan.
“Dan’s involvement and generosity have made this exhibit possible,” Werner says. “He has a keen appreciation for the history of this region, especially as it has been conveyed through maps. The items he has shared with us are of the highest quality and historical significance, and are worthy of an exhibit in the museum.”
Exhibit themes will include: 1) surveying and settlement of the state; 2) land and water transportation to and from northwest Illinois; 3) lead mining in Illinois; 4) life’s hardships on the old frontier; and 5) mapping as a discipline into the modern age.
Complementary artifacts from the museum collection — a metal printing plate used to replicate a city map for use in the public sector, a series of county plat maps, and other images and items — will add context to the overarching themes.
Map your next visit to the museum today!