Both David Lemon and Randi Richardson (the MCHC Library Volunteer of the Year) mentioned that they had seen information about the layout or plat maps of various towns within the Monroe County Land Records. I did some searching on the MCHC Research Library’s index: Land Records Index (c. 1811- 1870) and was pleasantly surprised. Thus far, I have found plat maps for Bloomington, Seminary Square, Graham’s Reserve, Ellettsville, Mount Tabor, Palestine, Fleeners Burg, Buena Vista, Unionville, Chapel Hill, Wayport, and Smithville plus several “additions.”
Because the Cemetery Committee had worked on the Mount Tabor Cemetery (Switzer/Hite) recently, I will use it as an example. The map featured in this post appears on C87 in Deed Book C. Located in Bean Blossom Township, Mount Tabor was quite a village between 1820 and 1850.
According to Pop Hall’s Historic Treasures, Mt. Tabor hosted a population of 350 in the 1840s: “William Hite was the first postmaster, and Nathan Hill and F.G. Hite succeeded him.” Other businesses that thrived included the store by John S. Barns, the grocery run by Gideon Walker, and a store owned by John Bennett. Other prominent names were Wampler, Shelburn, Dunning, Ellett, Whitesell, Sparks, Davis, Houston, Brown, Mays, Parks, Egbert and Hill.
As most MCHC Library users know, the deed books are hand-written treasures, requiring careful handling. Because MCHC received a grant from the Indiana State Archives, the pages are now digitized so a copy can easily be acquired. Most importantly, the original print copies do not have to be man-handled on a photocopier. Hopefully soon these digital pages will be available through the Indiana State Archives. The Indiana Digital Archives already permits some searching of other historical records. Until the records have been uploaded to the Indiana Digital Archives come by the MCHC Research Library and ask our staff to help you view these unique records.
Post submitted by Lou Malcomb (Library Volunteer)