Maps
 
Maps can tell us a lot about history as well as geography. Fortunately there are a number of historic maps that help tell the story of early Fairhaven.
 
Click photos for larger image and more information.
 
 
1883  Plat of Fairhaven on Harris Bay 
 
 Daniel J. Harris filed a plat of his property in Fairhaven on January 2, 1883 and began selling lots for gold.  The size of the lots were designated to be 50 x 100 feet and all Blocks were platted at 200 x 200 feet except for Blocks 5, 6, 15, 16, 34 and 35 which were 50 x 200 feet. 
 
Harris dedicated the streets to public use forever and designated their width at 80 feet with the exception of McKenzie Avenue which was 100 feet and assumed to be the main thoroughfare.  Instead, Harris Avenue has become the primary street within this area.
 
 

 

 
1889 Plat of Fairhaven Land Company’s
Second Addition to Fairhaven
 
Nelson Bennett and C.X. Larrabee formed the Fairhaven Land Company and purchased the Harris properties, those of Robert Knox and the properties north of Fairhaven owned by Edward Eldridge and Erastus Bartlett and known as (old) Bellingham.   
 
J.J. Donovan was commissioned to plat this expanded property in 1889 and renamed many of the existing streets, several of which now bear the names of the company’s partners (Larrabee, Cowgill, Wilson and Donovan).
 
 
     Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps 1890s  
 
The Sanborn Fire Insurance Company produced a series of maps of properties in urbanized communities throughout the United States in order to assess potential liability. 
 
These maps of individual structures conveyed key information as to the size, types of construction materials and precise footprint on the platted lots. Sanborn maps of Fairhaven are available for the years 1890, 1891 and 1897.
 
 
  Bird's Eye Map  1891
The 1891 panoramic view of Fairhaven was drawn by B.W. Pierce and engraved in San Francisco.  It was prepared for promotional purposes by the Fairhaven Land Company.  Bird’s Eye maps portrayed the city as if viewed above ground level and were popular throughout the United States from the 1850s to early 1900s.  
 
The drawback of these maps stems from the desire of the commissioning developer to include structures envisioned but not yet built.  For example, on this map is displayed an opera house and a splendid St. Joseph Hospital on the hill overlooking the town.
 
  
Fairhaven's Firehouse Map 
1927 - 1962
 
The Fairhaven Firehouse operated at the corner of 14th Street and Harris Avenue until 1962.   To assist the Firefighters with information about what fire hydrants would be available, a large map (11' x 11')  was created on the west wall of the firehouse garage.   The photo right, is a small portion of the map that includes Fairhaven and the Edgemoor neighborhoods.  Hydrants can be seen painted at many oThe Fairhaven Firehouse operated at the corner of 14th Street and Harris Avenue until 1962.   To assist the Firefighters with information about what fire hydrants would be available, a large map (11' x 11')  was created on the west wall of the firehouse garage.   The photo right, is a small portion of the map that includes Fairhaven and the Edgemoor neighborhoods.  Hydrants can be seen painted at many of the intersections.