First Plat of San Francisco Found

March 13, 1904 – The Oregon City Enterprise

ORIGINAL DOCUMENT, YELLOW WITH AGE, UNEARTHED IN RECORDER’S VAULTS.

The original plat of San Francisco, which was filed in the only federal district court in the west February 1, 1849 was unearthed in the vault of the county recorder’s office Monday morning.

The document is crumpled with age and must be handled with great care for the slightest fold will crack the paper. It is drawn on thin parchment with fine ink lines. The work is almost perfect in all its details, there being no erasures or blots. It shows Market street running through the center of the town with streets running back on each side for several blocks.

The map was drawn upon notes taken by a party of federal surveyors who worked during the fall of 1849 and was filed with F. S. Holland, deputy clerk of the court.

George Heimes has heard of the map and asks that copy be made for the Oregon Historical Society of which he is the head. County Recorder Dedman who found it, plans to take some steps to preserve the document. He will probably either glue it to a cardboard back or press it flat in one of the large map books in his office.

Several other documents of historical interest were found with the plat of San Francisco including the original plat of Oregon City as filed by Dr. John McLoughlin. Through much usage, this map had fallen into pieces and it had been necessary to paste it on a back of thick cloth sometime in the past. The original plat of Oregon City was filed, according to the date on the document, January 7, 1851 and an addition to the town called “county addition” was filed August 10, 1850 or about five months before the map of the town itself was filed. Recorder Dedman is at a loss to explain this but C. H. Dye, an authority on the history of the early years of Oregon City is of the opinion that the plan of the city was not filed until years after it was first drawn.

(Note: both the San Francisco plat and the Oregon City plat are on display at the Museum of the Oregon Territory, 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City OR)

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