How Town's Change

Governor's School Computer Assignment #1

On April 26, 1906, Mr. Robert Kishpaush, a printer, brought the first automobile to Fredericksburg." What has been the effect of the car on this town?

You have now copies of Sanborn Maps of City Block 66 of the Fredericksburg Historic District. City Block 66 is bordered by Amelia Street on the north, Princess Anne Street on the east, William Street on the sorth and Charles Street on the west. This map shows the plan of that block as it appeared in December of 1907.[Click on the Image to have a larger version] Based on your inspection of the block from the fire insurance maps below, compare what is shown on the map with that block today. Write down changes in the buildings over time. We'll discuss them in class in the next hour.

Consider these issues:
which buildings shown on the map appear to be the same today,
which buildings shown on the map appear to have been added to,
which buildings shown on the map appear to have been demolished,
and which building on the block today appear to have been built since the date of the map.

Then analyze the kind of activities that are centered on the block have changed from the information on the map and from your study of the block today. For example, was this completely a residential district in 1907? Have some uses of this block come and gone in the eighty-five years since this map was done? What uses were the buildings on the block put to when the map was made and what uses are there today. What clues do you see on the map or on the block today which would help you estimate how many people were and are living and working on the block? Suggest social, economic, cultural, or technological factors that have produced the differences between the block at the time the map was made and now?

You may also want to investigate who owned and worked in these properties. To view this information for the end of the nineteenth century, use the City directories.

We'll discuss your conclusions in the next hour

Simpson Library has all of the Virginia maps that survive on microfilm. These eight maps as well as others years for years 1936, 1941, 1952 and 1965 are available just for Fredericksburg.

March of 1886








The Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Company produced maps for cities and towns across the United States. Here are two references that would be useful if you were doing further research outside this class.