Home » Great Lakes States Directory » Michigan Old Maps

1800s Maps of Michigan Online – Historical Maps Michigan Free

Free 1800s Maps of Michigan Online - Historical Maps Michigan

1800’s old maps of Michigan. Early historical maps of Michigan, old gazetteers, state atlases, birds-eye view of towns, directories. Indian land cessions. Archaeological atlas. All free.

Collections of Maps, Atlases, Birds Eye Views

Michigan Historical Maps and Atlases

Historic MapWorks Browse Maps

Historic MapWorks

You can use the first link to search for Michigan places, or the second link to find a list of all Michigan maps by county. This site contains historic plat maps for most counties, as well as other kinds of maps.

Ancient world history books pdf here at Century Past

Detroit and Vicinity Before 1900; An Annotated List of Maps

Koerner, Alberta G. Auringer, comp.
Washington: Library of Congress 1968

This bibliography describes 239 maps and atlases which depict the city of Detroit, Mich., its vicinity, the Detroit River, Wayne County, other towns in Wayne County during the 18th and 19th centuries, and the adjacent shore in Canada regardless of the date of publication. Most of the described maps are in the collections of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress. Old Maps of Detroit.

44 Panoramic maps or Birds-eye Views of Various Michigan Cities and Towns

Library of Congress
Various publishers and years of publication

Many of these are highly detailed pictures showing all buildings. The viewer at this site enables high-resolution zooms. Historic maps of Michigan cities.

Collection of Local Histories and Atlases

Michigan County Histories and Atlases

The Michigan County Histories and Atlases Digitization Project is comprised of 428 titles published before 1925. You can search, or browse by title, author or subject. The collection contains:
County and town histories.
Biographies. Many of the county histories contain large biographical sections, but there are also individual biographical volumes too.
Business directories.
Multi-volume photo collection sets entitled “Art Work” for the Lake Superior region, St. Clair county and Washtenaw county, published in the 1890s.
Atlases or plat books for many counties, often with directories. Vintage Michigan plat maps. There are 131 atlases, nearly all published after 1870. Michigan county maps.

Scanned Maps at MSU – Includes Michigan Historical Maps

Michigan State University Libraries
Various publishers and years of publication

The collection contains a number of historic maps of Michigan as well as maps of Michigan State University, North America and the U.S.

Old Michigan Maps

This is a collaborative portal for accessing a number of online map collections worldwide. U.S. collections include;
The David Rumsey Collection
Harvard Library Collection
New York Public Library Collection
Leventhal Map Center at Boston Public Library
North Carolina Digital Heritage Center.

Indian Land Cessions in Michigan Land. Michigan Land Map 1

Indian Land Cessions in Michigan. Michigan Map 2

18th Annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology: Schedule of Treaties and Acts of Congress

Smithsonian Institution: Bureau of American Ethnology
GPO 1896-97

The 18th Annual report of the Bureau of American Ethnology contains, in the latter portion of Volume 2, a “Schedule of Treaties and Acts of Congress Authorizing Allotments of Land in Severalty”. Included in this is a “Schedule of Indian Land Sessions” that provides summary descriptions of each case throughout the U.S. in which a tribe ceded land (whether by sale or not) to the U.S. Federal government. The Schedule is followed by maps of every U.S. state that contained such land cessions. These maps show the locations of land ceded. A number on each land cession corresponds to an entry in the “Schedule of Indian Land Sessions”, which begins on page 648 of the Annual Report.

How to use this: Click the link for Michigan Map 1, which is at images 600-601 of the Report, or Map 2, at 604-605. Note the number of the land cession you wish to read about, and search for that number in the Schedule (3rd link above) that begins on page 648 of the Annual Report. This Schedule is organized as a table that spans 2 pages, so look on odd-numbered pages for the land cession number that corresponds with the map location. The preceding page contains a description for that cession, plus a reference to the legal statute.

Interactive Map of Michigan County Formation History

Map of US.org

Scroll part-way down this webpage for the interactive online map, which shows the changing county borders over time, from 1790 to 1897. You can also see the county boundaries in each census year from 1820 to 1930. Map of Michigan counties.

Archaeological Atlas of Michigan

Hinsdale, Wilbert
Ann Arbor: Univ of Michigan 1931

Chapter headings include: Trails, Waterways and Portages, Mounds and other Earthworks, Villages and Campsites, Burying Grounds. There is also a map of important Indian trails to and from Michigan.

Mills and Boon free online reads here at Century Past

Michigan Atlases and Plat Books; A Checklist 1872-1973. A Bicentennial Publication

Miles, William, comp.
Lansing: Michigan Department of Education State Library Services 1975

Includes titles of vintage Michigan plat books.

LOC Atlases and Maps of Michigan

LOC Geography and Map Division
Various Publishers

63 Library of Congress Atlases and Maps for Michigan. Most show landowners in Michigan counties.

Railroad Maps of Michigan 1828-1900

LOC Geography and Map Division
Various Publishers

Seven 19th century railway maps of Michigan.

Sanborn Maps at Library of Congress – Michigan

The Sanborn maps are extremely detailed maps of cities and villages produced by the Sanborn Company for use by fire insurance agents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The maps are at a scale of 50-feet to one-inch. Some of the maps for the largest cities in the U.S. were over 100 pages. Maps show individual buildings, the construction materials used, and the purpose of the building. Sometimes the company name is included for business buildings.

This Library of Congress free online collection has over 35,000 online Sanborn maps for thousands of U.S. cities and villages. Many towns have more than one map produced over several decades. When searching for a town in Advanced Search, choose a state first to see the complete list of cities in that state. See “About this Collection” (at the Sanborn page) for a full explanation of the symbols and conventions used in the maps.

Selected Old Michigan Maps

A Plan of the Straits of St. Mary, and Michilimakinac,to shew the situation & importance of the two westernmost settlements of Canada for the fur trade

1750s? Publisher unknown

Vintage map of Michigan.

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Map of Michigan Territory


High resolution image of a good color map. Michigan was nearly all wilderness, and counties had not yet been surveyed, so the interior of Michigan on this map is largely blank except for rivers. In addition to the map there is a written description of geography, commerce, government, and history.

See our Century Past collected links to free online map sites.  We have 5 pages of links: for the U.S., North America, UK & Ireland, Worldwide, & Military maps.

Map of the Surveyed Part of the Territory of Michigan

Albany, NY: Rawdon, Clark 1825

Covers the southeastern part of the State only.

Map of the States of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois and part of Michigan Territory

Philadelphia: Finley 1826

Reveals which areas had been organized by the mid-1820s.

A New Map of Michigan with its Canals, Roads & Distances

Philadelphia: Tanner 1833

High resolution image of a good color map. Included is a table of steam boat routes.

Tourist’s Pocket Map of Michigan

Philadelphia: Young 1835

Apparently the meaning of the word “tourist” was somewhat different in the 1830s, as it is hard to imagine people making recreational trips to Michigan then. This old map clearly shows that settlement had barely started in the northern half of the lower peninsula as of 1835.

We have links to many free newspaper archives

Map of the States of Michigan and Wisconsin

embracing a great part of Iowa and Illinois, and the whole mineral region with a chart of the lakes. exhibiting the sections, the geological formations, and the general topography

Farmer 1849

This old map is in fact mainly a map of the Michigan’s U.P. John Farmer was a pioneer map publisher based in Detroit who specialized in maps of Michigan and Wisconsin. If the title of this detailed and accurate map seems puzzling, with its references to Iowa and Illinois, it is because this map was published in sections which were sold separately, and the Wisconsin Historical Society has only this section.

Map of Lower Peninsula – Old Michigan Maps Free


Farmer’s Rail Road and Township Map of Michigan

Detroit: Farmer 1868

Especially useful for the indications of shipping routes on the Great Lakes.

County and Township Map of the States of Michigan and Wisconsin

Philadelphia: Gamble 1880

High resolution image of color map.

Gazetteers and Directories

Gazetteer of the State of Michigan, in three parts, containing a general view of the state …

a description of the face of the country, soil, productions, public lands, internal improvements, commerce, government, climate, education, religious denominations, population, antiquities &c, &c., with a succinct history of the State, from the earliest period to the present time. Also a particular description of the counties, towns, villages, post offices, water courses, lakes, prairies, &c. Alphabetically arranged; with an appendix, containing the usual statistical tables, and a directory for emigrants, &c.

Blois, John T.
Detroit: Rood 1839

This is a detailed compendium of information about Michigan in 1839. Part One presents a “general view of the state,” describing Michigan’s geology, soil, climate and topography as well as its improvements, products, governance, religious and educational institutions, population, and antiquities. Part One also incorporates a “Succinct History of the State,” which treats major events from the era of French exploration through statehood. Part Two provides a general view of each county, including its seat of justice, principal towns and villages, waterways and natural resources, political subdivisions, and population. Part Three imparts similar information for all the organized townships, and includes a large section on Detroit. Finally, there are a few pages of advice for immigrants. – from the Library of Congress American Memory. website. Old Michigan gazetteers.

This is a much earlier source of data for most Michigan counties than the county histories, which started to appear in the 1870s. Some sections of interest:
1837 population of counties, P. 152
An 1837 plan by the state to construct railroads, including routes and costs per mile. P. 78
Data about Great Lakes shipping. P. 101. For example, seventeen steamboats were under construction on Lake Erie in 1837, to add to the 42 steamboats and numerous sailing vessels already in operation. A steamship captain earned a minimum of about $50 per month, and a sailor about $16. 1800’s old maps of Michigan.

State of Michigan Gazetteer & Business Directory for 1856-7

Detroit: Huntington, Lee 1856

An ambitious effort to provide lists of businessmen in every Michigan town and village. Many of the smallest places only list a postmaster, but directories for other towns seem surprisingly comprehensive.

Johnston’s Detroit City Directory and Advertising Gazetteer of Michigan with an Appendix carefully revised

Detroit: Johnston 1861

This is mainly a directory of all heads of household in Detroit, but there is much more. Numerous advertisements with illustrations are found throughout.
Some sections of interest:
All departments of the Detroit city government, with names of officials and their salaries, even including schools and teachers. P. 21
Brief descriptions of churches throughout Detroit. P. 31, followed by a church directory.
“Secret Societies” and other organizations, including the Masonic Order, Odd Fellows, Lafayette Benevolent Society, German Working Men’s Society, Catholic societies, etc. P. 33
The city’s financial report for 1860. P. 57.

Read novels online for free no download at our Fiction section

Directory of the City of Detroit; and Register of Michigan for the year 1845 …

containing an epitomized history of Detroit; an alphabetical list of its citizens; a list of the officers of the municipal government; the officers of the United States, and the State officers and members of the Legislature of Michigan: also, every information relative to the time and place at which the several courts sit throughout the State; with a list of churches, associations, institutions, county officers, &c., &c.

Wellings, James
Detroit: Harsha & Willcox 1845

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top