Submitted to the Optic
Making maps of the land in which we live is long standing. For example, the first map to show North and South America as two distinct continents yet joined together by land was produced in 1550. At the same time maps are not always realistic representations of the natural world.
In 1650, French cartographer Nicholas Sanson mapped the Rio Grande as originating in a lake north of Taos. Vincenzo Maria Coronelli’s map of 1688 for the first time correctly placed Santa Fe on the east side of the Rio Grande but continued to show California as an island. But, by 1703 California is rejected as an island, Texas is named, and the Mississippi River is “correctly” located in a map by Guillaume Delisle who is considered the first scientific cartographer.
On Wednesday, there will be an opportunity to learn more about the early maps of the Americas and the American West from Peter Eidenbach.
From a collection of 89 maps, Eidenbach tells a story of New Mexico that transcends nearly 400 years. These maps are excellently reproduced in large-format and full color in his recent publication, An Atlas of Historic New Mexico Maps, 1550-1941.
Eidenbach will make a free public presentation of early maps of New Mexico at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Plaza Hotel’s Ilfeld Ballroom.
This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the City Museum and Friends of the Museum as part of the Las Vegas Heritage Week Celebrations.
Another treat for the evening is a “Cowboy Dinner” prepared by the Plaza Hotel. This meal will begin at 6 p.m. and is $15 per person.
Tickets for the dinner may be purchased in advance at the Plaza Hotel and the Las Vegas City Museum. Prior to the 6 p.m. dinner a cash bar will also be provided.