Early wall map of present-day Laconia on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Map OF MEREDITH BRIDGE AND LAKE VILLAGE BELKNAP Co. N. H. New York and Jersey City: Presdee & Edwards, 1853.
Lithograph, printed area 40 ¼”h x 32 ¼”w plus margins, original outline and spot color. Professionally restored. Lined with modern replacement linen, edged with modern replacement selvage, and mounted on early dowels. Typical cracking, toning, areas of discoloration, and reinstatement of small losses in margins.

A rare, informative and appealing Presdee & Edwards wall map of Meredith Bridge and Lake Village—now known as Laconia—along the south shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in Belknap County, New Hampshire.

As with all Presdee & Edwards maps, the very large scale is sufficient to provide immense detail, including not only the street plan and the line of the Boston, Maine & Montreal Railroad; but also property lines, land owners, and the placement and even footprints of individual structures. Of particular interest are the manufacturing complexes in both Meredith Bridge and Lake Village, along with the attendant infrastructure, in an area known today as a resort hub.

The map’s visual appeal is enhanced by the lush foliate border. Two long lists totaling well over 100 subscribers represent the area’s business and professional elite as well as a wide variety of trades.

The firm of Presdee & Edwards
Presdee & Edwards were surveyors and–for a brief time—mapmakers and map publishers based in New York and Jersey City. Between 1852 and 1854 they produced at least 20 maps of New England towns, including two in Massachusetts (Northampton and Greenfield), four in New Hampshire, thirteen in Vermont and one in Maine. Most are rare, some exceptionally so: Antique Map Price Record lists a mere dozen of their maps having appeared on the market in the past 30 years, 8 of which appeared at the Parkinsons auction of November 2003.

I have found no trace in the period press of their Map of Meredith Bridge and Lake Village, butl ike other mapmakers of the period, the Presdee & Edwards business model relied on the sale of advance subscriptions, often overseen by an agent. This was for example the case with their map of Burlington, Vermont. The following advertisement appeared in the Burlington Courier for December 2, 1852:

“MAP OF BURLINGTON.—We understand that Mr. A. L Forrest, Agent for Messrs. Presdee & Edwards, Civil Engineers, Surveyors and Map publishers of New York who is now staying at the American Hotel here, proposes to publish a large and beautiful map of Burlington, from actual survey, showing all streets and dwelling houses, public buildings, building lots, &c. The survey will be commenced as soon as he can be assured of the sale of two hundred copies. From the specimens he has shown us and the high reputation with which he is connected, we feel assured he will accomplish the object of his undertaking in a creditable manner….


“Messrs. Presdee & Edwards have already made maps of Brattleboro’, Rutland, Bennington, Montpelier, and St. Albans, in our state, and as far as we can judge they are as accurate, as they certainly are beautiful in execution. The map of Brattleboro’ can be examined at this office.”

Cobb, New Hampshire Maps to 1900, #211 (NH Historical Society only). OCLC 57258497 (NH Historical Society only, as of March 2020). Not in Phillips, Maps of America.