Walling's Middlesex County, 1856 <> Oddessey <> YON's Historical Maps of Sudbury <> More Sudbury Maps <> jch.com <> YON

Sudbury in 1856 from Walling's Map

One of the reasons for creating this web page is to address questions of the validity of the Walling 1856 Sudbury (Sudbury1856Walling.jpg - checksum below). To that end I will describe the process of scanning, rectifying and restoring the map. For my attempts to create this map before purchasing my own copy of the Walling map, see the Oddessey web page. The story of My Walling begins on December 18th, 2011 when I bought it from an Antiques dealer in West Boylston, MA.

The complete name of the map for reference purposes is The Map of Middlesex County, H.F. Walling, 1856, henceforth known as the map.

image Sudbury1856Walling0x2400.jpg

The final version: Sudbury1856Walling.jpg

The final version consists of 4 major elements: the Sudbury portion of the Walling map itself, two insets from the map and a title box. I will describe how I came up with the pixels of the map itself. The two insets showing Sudbury Center and Mill Village were cleaned slightly, but, otherwise they were not modified in any way.

The title box was created from elements of the original title area of the map, which is shown below. In addition, I have added the following pieces of text: "The Town of Sudbury in", "from the Map of" and "Scanned 2012 Jan C. Hardenbergh". The pixels rendering 1856, Henry F. Walling, MIDDLESEX COUNTY, and Smith & Bumstead are original pixels, altho some have been scalled more than others.

Why do I have the gall to put my name in the title box? Because I have spent close to 60 hours on my Walling and much more than that the 3 other versions that I created from photographs. This map is offered for free, as is.

The other 3 minor elements are the Draughtsman just below the title box and two instances of jch.com/sudbury

Phase 0: Scanning

I only have an all in 1 scanner that does a little more that 8.5x11, so, the idea of trying to fit the map of the scanner was crazy. So, I put the scanner upside down on the map. That seemed to work quite well without stressing the map. The Sudbury porting took two scans. The insets were each done by them selves and the title was done in 2 pieces. Those are the only portions of the map I have scanned thus far. The stitch was trivial.

The result is the image on the right. You can clearly see the East/West seem and the North/South seem. The map is made up of 16 separate pieces of paper, which makes a lot of sense since a 5'x5' printing press. I'm only 94% certain that the number of pieces is 16. In my copy, the Southeast corner is over inked, the Southwest corner is a little light. The crease along the Marlboro border is the worst of the damage, but, not back compared to other versions of the map.

image Walling1856MapPhase0x2400.jpg
The full map
image ScanningMyWalling.jpg
Scanning My Walling
image Walling1856MapPhase0x2400.jpg
Phase 0 - the original scan

Phases 1 & 2: Aligning, then Rectifying

I thought that all I had to do was to line up the latitude and longitude lines and I would be done! However things never did quite line up and when I used a map of the town as an overlay, it became clear that the pieces would never line up properly and even sone regions within the pieces were not aligned. So, in phase 2, moved various pieces around to get a semi-reasonable match to to the town map.

image Walling1856MapPhase1x2400.jpg
Phase 1
image WallingFix2x3k.png
Trying to align a current town map to Phase 1
image Walling1856MapPhase2x2400.jpg
Phase 2 - rectified

image Walling1856MapPhase3x2400.jpg

Phase 3: Restoring

No text was added or subtracted within the Town bounds. In a few instances I removed some distractions outside of the boundaries. The very large title SUDBURY is the only text that starts on one piece and ends on another. There are a few pieces of text from the Western edge of the Northeast quadrant that do not look great. I left them. Also, some text where the crease was is crummy - a couple of Parmenters got crushed. Still, the text was sacred.

There were two instance in which one piece had half of a hill and the other piece did not match it. One was on Willis road and the other in what is now Maynard, which did not split off until 1871. For these, I added the other half of the hill.

Other than that, I removed the crease and cleaned up anything that was visually distracting. It is an interesting exercise to put the 4 phases in 4 tabs on your web browser and flip between them. You can clearly see what was changed.

So, did I destroy the authenticity of the map? I do not think so. The Town of Sudbury was on 4 different pieces and they did not meet perfectly on any know copy of the map AND even when they did there were mismatches!

The other scans


image Walling1856SudburyCenter.jpg
Cap: Walling1856SudburyCenter.jpg
image Walling1856MillVillage.jpg
Cap: Walling1856MillVillage.jpg
image Walling1856Title.jpg
Cap: Walling1856Title.jpg


I have been a hobbyist buying old maps at the local used bookstore in Sudbury - Bearly Read Books and scanning them and then donating the maps for the charity auction at either First Parish or Sudbury Valley Trustees. And, since the Town's archive of old maps is not what it should be I've started a web page on Sudbury Maps. About a year and a half ago I bought a reproduction of the Sudbury section of Walling's 1856 map which I was unaware of. It has good detail of Sudbury and would fill a gap in Sudbury Town maps between 1830 and 1875.

The reproduction I have is from the Havard scan. Unfortunately, Sudbury is right in the middle, so, any folded versions are missing a good chunk of Sudbury. Same with the BPL version. And the original sheets meet in Sudbury, too. In addition to the Harvard & BPL versions, I have seen one for sale by a dealer that did not have good detail of Sudbury. I have photographed the one at the Watertown Free Library - rolled with lacquer - Sudbury not too bad. There is a mounted version in the Sudbury Town Hall that is in poor condition and the copy in the Goodnow Library is in fair condition. I have also determined that I will never get a satisfactory result by photographing - at least not without a significant improvement in equipment and methodology. I was quite careful at Goodnow, but...

So, I drove out to Boylston MA on December 18th, 2011, and the Sudbury portion of the map was in good condition. The map over all is in good condition - with a bit of water damage at the top. Photo attached. So, I bought it, moving me from hobbyist to investor. Sort of. My primary goal is to get a clean hi-res scan of Sudbury. I am hoping to sell it at some point in the future.

Other Notes

The typeface in the title box is a mishmash, as is the type in the original map. Walling, Bumstead, Middlesex and 1856 are all images copied from the original. The new test is times and and 2 fonts from http://www.steffmann.de/ - Cloister Black and Deutch Zierschrift.

sudbury $ md5 Sudbury1856Walling.jpg 
MD5 (Sudbury1856Walling.jpg) = 25b1fb98e35848e02f21ba9fd89b8d15

2012.02.06 YON