Sunday, August 29, 2010

Old San Antonio map

Here's your new city map, from sometime in the past.

If I remember correctly, we found this in some of my grandfather's things after he died, and I kept it as a historical document. I hadn't seen it in a while, not until I cleaned out a little-used drawer this weekend and found it.

I don't know what year this map is from. There is no copyright date, but it is from a time when telephone numbers were still just a letter and five numerals, and from sometime before the mid-1950s when the interstate system was dreamed up. (IH-35 was just a segment of the new "Hi-Way to Mexico City.")

I haven't decided yet if I want to scan the whole thing or not, but I did scan the panel that shows what the downtown area looked like back then. It's interesting to look at to see what has changed and what, remarkably, has stayed the same.

And here is where we get the best clue as to when this map was printed. Take a look at the bottom of the downtown map where St. Mary's Street and Navarro Street converge, just above the "F" marker. It's a little hard to read, but there are lines indicating the path of mass transit routes, and right at the intersection with Nueva Street there is written "Roosevelt Bus," "Hot Wells Bus," "Hot Wells Car," and "Brooks Field Bus."

Hot Wells Car and Bus. That means this map is from a time when San Antonio still had the old rail streetcars running as well as buses. And, according to this article written by Paula Allen at the Express-News, this is between 1923 and 1933 when the Public Service Company ran both modes prior to scrapping the streetcars in favor of an all-bus system.

So, there you are, your New City Map, possibly from the early 20th Century.

I wouldn't rely on it, though, if you need to get somewhere.


Pam said...

Thanks for sharing, I love old maps!

AlanDP said...

I have been looking for a pre-interstate map for a long time. I would really like to see the whole thing.

Albatross said...

OK, then. When I get a chance, I will scan in the rest of it and share.

Keith Alan K said...

Cool find!
I have a friend who will be interested, too, if he doesn't have his own copy already.