Archive for August, 2010

New – US chart of the Harbor of Hyannis, Cape Cod

August 7, 2010

This 1850 (pre Civil War) US coastal survey chart of the harbor (and town) of Hyannis, Cape Cod, includes not just hydrographic information but also includes full sailing directions into the harbor.

The chart comes complete with original handwritten inscriptions and comments as well as containing excellent detail of what the town of Hyannis looked like 160 years ago.  Individual houses and land divisions are included as well as..well, church spires.

Actually, it’s not really that much different from today.. (more inspired holiday snaps!)

Hyannis. Nice place – worth a visit. Gateway to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard..

This chart will be published in full on the Heritage Charts web-site: shortly.

New – US chart of Rockport Harbor, MA

August 7, 2010

This chart is a 1902 edition of a chart which was first published in 1859.  It is one of a series of charts completed for the most comprehensive  survey of the US coast since the British lost control of the colonies in 1784.

The chart includes a great deal of hydrographic information which will undoubtedly be of interest to the modern-day sailor.  A good deal of land relief is include along with detail of individual houses, buildings and land division. 

By the way, here are some photographs of the town as it is today (at last – an excuse to bore the whole world with my holiday snaps!!), which qualifies as one of the prettiest places on the eastern seaboard. 

Out of interest – well to me anyway – is that Rockport was one of the last places in Massachusetts to allow alcohol.  Even today there are no pubs or bars (that I could find), although it is possible to drink with a meal.  I stayed in Newburyport that night..

This chart will be published in full on the Heritage Charts web-site: shortly.

New – Portland Sound, Hussey Sound, Broad Sound to Rogers Bay

August 6, 2010

Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres published surveys of the North American coastline (Eastern seaboard) between 1777 and 1781 in volumes entitled the Atlantic Neptune.  Amongst the collection of surveys Des Barres worked from were his own and those of other dedicated men who scrambled over some of the most difficult (and beautiful) terrain in the world around Maine, Halifax and Nova Scotia (not to mention clumps of Canada).

In February we met a number of lovely people from up in Maine who had come down to the bright lights of Boston for the New England Boat Show to buy a new submarine or diving bell or the like (much warmer apparently than an open boat in those northern waters!).  A surprising number of those that we met came from Portland ME and enquired as to charts of the region.  Well, fortunately for us Mr Des Barres had been that way about 230 years ago and left this one in the locker…. although in his day Portland was called Falmouth..

This chart will be published in full in the Heritage Charts web-site: soon.

New – Chart of Block Island, Gardner Island, Fisher Island Sound c1813.

August 6, 2010

After much ‘ear-bashing’ at both the New York and New England Boat shows earlier this year, for not having a chart of Long Island Sound and Block, Gardner and Fisher Islands in particular, Heritage Charts are delighted to be able to unveil this unique and historic chart of the Anglo-American war of 1812 -1815. 

The chart is on first appearance very simple, almost unfinished but it includes some fascinating detail and remarks…

Isn’t it just so reassuring that it’s not just yacht club members who hit things and run aground!

The chart tells the story of the British blockade of Long Island Sound during 1813 prior to the subsequent bombardment of the town of Stonnington by four British warships commanded by Sir Thomas Hardy (previously Nelson’s Flag Captain on board the HMS Victory at the battle of Trafalgar and recipient of the famous request; “Kiss me Hardy!”).

And just for the lady who bent my ear the most at the NY boat show… here’s a snippet of Block Island from the chart….

…. Where, in 1699 Captain Kidd is reputed to have spent a month prior to his capture in Boston.

…. Also where the British fleet (reputedly) did their laundry in 1812

Note the 74 gun, ship of the line HMS Ramillies (1763-1850), which appears on the main chart, at anchor,  no less than 6 times.

This chart will be published in full on the main Heritage Charts web-site: shortly, along with a full history.

New – Pre American Civil War map of Long Island, New York and Connecticut c1836

August 6, 2010

We are very excited to have uncovered an important map of  ‘Long Island with the Evirons of New York and the Southern part of Connecticut’. 


The map represents something of a diversion for the Heritage Charts collection inasmuch as it is far more recent than most of the maps, charts and plans we specialize in.  It is not especially hydrographic, nor is it military in nature but it is still hugely interesting and it represents an important slice of American heritage. 

What makes the map especially rare and important, quite apart from the fantastic quality of image, is the date;  The orinal of this map was produced in 1836.  Not only is that 25 years prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 but it is a very early edition of a map produced by J.H.Colton the famous NY publisher. 


 It predates all editions of the same map currently held by The New York Public Library..

…and a mulitutude Antiquarian Map dealers…  none of whom get a link here, but feel free to type any of the info presented in these title pages into your browser.  Do of course note the date – 1836, quality of the images you see, as well as the price of an original..  And you’re still unlikely to find one to match ours.

The map was originally produced and published on 4 seperate sheets which we have stitched together to make up the whole image.  Perhaps the most stiking aspect of the map is the picture and detail the map offers of the development of an industrial network and city planning we can recognize today along with the infrastructure – roads, bridges, railways etc – upon which this area is now built. 

More detail on this map will be released shortly when it is posted on the main Heritage Charts web-site at

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