By: W. Sharp & Co.
Date: 1853 (dated) Boston, MA
Dimensions - Map of Chelsea: 19 x 23.5 inches (48.25 x 59.7 cm)
Dimensions - Map of Boston: 16 x 21 inches (40.5 x 53.4 cm)
A rare find of the original maps, charter and by-laws of the Cary Improvement Company for the proposed subdivision of residential lots within a 414 acre farm purchased from Charles Cary, for the sum of $150,000. Worldcat.org lists only one other example of these maps, held in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center of the Boston Public Library.
According to bellinghamcary.org, a webpage operated by the Governor Bellingham-Cary House Association...
The land that was purchased by the Cary Improvement Co. represented the largest and productive of the farmland owned by Gov. Richard Bellingham and which had been later inherited by the Cary family in 1765. Some of the heirs had an undivided 240th part of the farmland and thirty signatures were listed on the deed transferring ownership.
The farm contained 414 acres or more than one-third of the Town of Chelsea. According to the surveys the farm contained 202 acres of prime upland, 159 acres of marsh and 53 acres of flats. The Cary Improvement Co. now had a waterfront of approximately a mile along the Chelsea River. Large tonnage vessels, drawing from 18 to 20 feet of water could maneuver three-fifths of this river. This would provide huge potential for use of shipbuilding, wharf and manufacturing purpose.
The two maps provided with the original chapter and by-laws include a proposed plan for Chelsea, showing the street layout and lots to be sold for both residential and commercial purposes and a map of Boston and vicinity with Chelsea colored in blue and all railroads that connect the surrounding areas to Boston. The book consists of the charter and by-laws, a letter from the engineers to the stockholders, and a statement for the use of the stockholders of the Cary Improvement Company.
Condition: Both maps are in excellent condition, issued folded but have since been removed from the book and flattened. The left margin on either map is narrow as issued and both maps have some short tears which have been reinforced with high quality japan paper on the verso. The book consists of original covers and spine with all pages securely bound and very little foxing except for the end pages.
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