The Wabaunsee County Historical Society Museum recently installed a new exhibit in their upper gallery, titled, Wabaunsee County On the Map. The exhibit features seven historic maps of Kansas and Wabaunsee County ranging in date from 1836 through 1885.
The exhibit was a collaboration of Michael Stubbs who amassed a large digital collection of historic Kansas maps, Greg Hoots who selected the images and curated the show, and Tom Parish who printed the seven maps.
The maps detail a time in Kansas history when all of Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma land was a refugee camp for eastern United States Native American tribes, forced from their land east of the Mississippi River. The maps also follow the progression of Kansas as a Territory and then a state, neatly platted and divided into sections for settlement.
Also featured in the exhibit is a unique 1885 Wabaunsee County plat map which details every section of property in the county, listing the owner and the number of acres in each property. The map was created by Hoots and Parish by using a disassembled 1885 Wabaunsee County Atlas. Hoots made 85 high-resolution scans of each page of the Atlas, and Parish digitally stitched the scans together to create a unique 1885 plat map of Wabaunsee County. Parish’s stitched digital file is enormous in size, allowing the map to be enlarged 20-feet in height without losing clarity.