Editor’s Note: By a stroke of luck, Pierce County Historical Association member Dan Geister found a rare 1870 plat map. The 38x54-inch map showing landowners at that time is the only known one in existence and the earliest found to date. The next earliest is the 1877-78 atlas.
Geister found it in 2006 while substitute teaching at Prescott Middle School. During his lunch break he went to River Bank Antiques. When asked if they had anything relating to Pierce County, a dirty, grungy map was pulled out. Geister saw inscribed “Jesse Dale’s Map of Pierce County” on the bottom corner, and bought it.
He sent the map to the Wisconsin Historical Society for restoration and donated copies to the UW-River Falls archives and Pierce County Historical Association. It is on permanent display at PCHA office in the lower level of the Ellsworth Village Hall.
Because the map was available to schools, there may be other copies in better condition, rolled up and in a tube or on a roller. The PCHA urges people to look in attics and storage areas to see if more exist.
Call the PCHA office, 273-6611 if you find this unusual 1870 plat map. The office is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 1-4 p.m.
News from 1877 Days of Yore columns carried in the River Falls Journal:Big River: Some of our neighbors were frightened one night last week by what seemed to be a ball of fire on their neighbor’s fence, but which proved to be a tallow candle which some mischievous boy had set on a fence post.Kinnickinnic: The house of George Thoms narrowly escaped burning one evening last week. During the night a stove-hearth fell out and by some means, probably a coal or spark, the rag carpet covering the floor caught fire about a foot from the front of the stove. The fire extended in a direct line a yard in length, or nearly across one width of the carpet, and three threads in width. The burnt strip was of cotton, bounded on either side by wool. The straw under it was burned down to the floor, which also scored in several places. Nothing was known of it until the next morning.Ellsworth: E. S. Doolittle has purchased a half interest in the Pierce County Herald, and is now duly installed as junior editor thereof.Esdaile: Henry Cole cut his hand nearly off in the saw mill last week.River Falls: J. H. Lord is improving his livery barn by putting on an extension, raising the roof of the main part and siding up the whole structure. Kinnickinnic: Climbing the Monument is a pleasant pastime, but getting down is another, as some parties found one day last week.River Falls: Our public school is in good running order with a attendance of 165 pupils. Miss Eva Powell has been engaged as an assistant teacher.River Falls: C. E. Davis has rented the vacant storeroom in Fleming’s Block and moved his stock of drugs into it. This is now one of the finest and best regulated drug stores in the northwest.River Falls: Edwin Reed, who is in the employ of G. P. Burnett, fell from the wagon while coming down the mound with a load of rock from the quarry of Samuel Wales. The wheels passed over his body bruising him quite badly. River Falls: Arrangements are being made to furnish the people of this vicinity with a more direct communication with St. Paul. A daily stage will leave River Falls in the morning meeting a boat at Glenmont in season to connect with the train at Stillwater, Minn., for St. Paul. If arrangements are completed as expected the route will be opened next Monday and our citizens will be able to visit St. Paul and return the same day.
Contact Pat Hunter, 425-1561 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your photos and items of interest for this column.
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