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Mon Dec 17, 2012, 01:39 PM

A [map] collection that identifies California as a world apart (LA Times)

A really nice article on a map collection all showing CA as an island, just donated to Stanford. I hope these go on public display (along with some of the Rumsey material) - would be worth a visit for sure...

PALO ALTO Something was unusual about the 1663 map of the Western Hemisphere.

Yes, much of the North and South American coasts followed contours geographers would recognize today. And in California, Santa Catalina, Santa Barbara and Point Reyes were clearly marked. But wait! What was that body of water marked Mare Vermiglio, or Red Sea, separating California from the mainland? And why was California a big carrot-shaped island?

That geographic oddity caught the attention of Glen McLaughlin, an American businessman who was browsing through antique maps at a shop in London in 1971. He bought it and began pursuing a quirky and expensive passion that would lead him to devote an entire room in his San Jose-area home to what is believed to be the largest private collection of such maps.

-- Snip --

"California is not an island and doesn't have an east coast and no Vermilion Sea. But it is so separate from other parts of the United States, economically, culturally and even spatially," Solnit said. With mountains and deserts isolating California, and its agriculture, high-tech and entertainment industries so well developed, "who's to say we are not this magical, amazing place?"


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Reply A [map] collection that identifies California as a world apart (LA Times) (Original post)
petronius Dec 2012 OP
pinto Dec 2012 #1
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #2

Response to petronius (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 04:36 PM

1. Interesting stuff. The perception of CA as an island may come from the annual flooding

of the San Joaquin Valley during the rainy season. Apparently it filled with rain water and was essentially a large, north-south fresh water lake for months every year. Before large scale farming or diversion of water to the coastal cities.

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Response to petronius (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:37 AM

2. From the seal, that was commisioned by the colonial


Government in Guadalajara, not Mexico City, fascinating.

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