19th century US county wall maps were decorated with pictures in the margins, such as views of public buildings or the homes of prominent landowners. Sometimes we see natural features like waterfalls or even wildlife.
But it was a bit surprising to find engravings of 3 dogs on the Chenango County, NY 1855 wall map. This map has all the “normal” views such as hotels and houses, but it’s the only wall map- I’ve ever seen featuring man’s best friend.
Pictorial engravings on these maps were typically paid for. Levi Harris, whose Hotel is on the lower left of the map, may have paid $50 to have his business engraved here (in addition to the $5 he paid to buy the map).
But why the dogs? Was the publisher, Lafayette Leal from Norwich, a dog lover? Quite likely.
Here is the entire Chenango County Wall Map. There are 21 pictures around the edges. We are currently (August 2015) preparing dozens of 1850s NY county maps for re-issue in convenient formats.
Click to see The Old Maps Web page of NY County Maps
We also have Town & Village maps extracted from the wall map