A scarce and lovely map of Rockland, Maine

From actual survey by D.S. Osborne / Published by E.M. Woodford / Lith. of Friend & Aub / Printed by Wagner & McGuigan, MAP OF THE CITY OF ROCKLAND Lincoln Co. Maine. 80 Walnut St., Philadelphia: E.M. Woodford, 1855.
Lithograph on 4 sheets joined, 36 ½”h x 51”w plus margins, original wash color. Lined with linen and mounted on rollers, as issued. Minor scattered soiling, smallish stain at upper left and a fainter one at upper right.

A lovely wall map of the historic seacoast town of Rockland, Maine, with superb original color.

Osborne’s map provides an attractive and wonderfully-detailed depiction of the midcoast city of Rockland, Maine, located roughly midway between Portland and Mount Desert Island. Incorporated as East Thomaston in 1848, it took its present name in 1850 and received a city charter four years later. Wikipedia tells us that it “developed rapidly because of shipbuilding and lime production. In 1854 alone, the city built eleven ships, three barks, six brigs and four schooners. The city had twelve lime quarries and 125 lime kilns, with upwards of 300 vessels to transport the mineral to various ports in the country.” Today it is the seat of Knox County, established in 1860 from parts of the counties of Lincoln and Waldo, as well as a major tourist destination and an embarkation point for ferries to the Penobscot Bay islands.

The format of the image—a relatively small-scale map of the city at left and a much larger-scale plan of the city center at right—is typical of the many maps published in Philadelphia in the mid-1850s. The smaller-scale map shows Rockland in its entirety, emphasizing the topography and road network and identifying the occupants of outlying properties as well as schools, mills, lime quarries and kilns, and other businesses. The plan of the city center is remarkably detailed, with the footprints of individual buildings shown and their owners identified. Of particular interest are the numerous wharves, shipyards and related businesses along the waterfront, as well as the profusion of lime kilns at Crockett’s Point. The visual appeal of the image is greatly enhanced by the elegant decorative border and no fewer than 10 pictorial vignettes of area residences, hotels and the fine Crockett Building, owned by Rockland’s first mayor Knott Crockett (ca. 1792-1857).

This is the first printed map of Rockland, and for sheer detail it was not superseded until the Sanborn fire insurance maps of 1885.

E.M. Woodford and D.S. Osborne
E.M. Woodford is credited as the surveyor on at least nine maps of Connecticut towns, eleven of Massachusetts towns and two of New Hampshire towns, all published between 1851 and 1855. Many—and possibly all—of these appeared under the imprint of Philadelphia publisher Richard Clark. Woodford also tried his hand at publishing, and his imprint appears on at least thirteen maps, including nine of Maine towns made by D.S. Osborne.

Little is known about Osborne, other than that he conducted surveys for at least 11 maps of Maine towns, as well as two maps of Massachusetts towns published by Woodford’s fellow Philadelphia Richard Clark. Ten of Osborne’s twelve maps bear a publication data of 1855, and the exceptions (maps of Gardiner and Camden, Maine) appeared in 1856.

OCLC 274184377 and 911352122 (Clements Library, Maine State Library, University of Maine-Orino). Phillips, Maps of America, p. 752. Thompson, Important Maine Maps &c., #166 (ill. p. 229).


Minor scattered soiling, smallish stain at upper left and a fainter one at upper right. Some repairs to upper corners with very slight loss to border at right. Selvage perished, some fraying at edges. Withal, remarkably bright and sound for a wall map of the period.