Jefferson County Historical Commission

of Jefferson County

Sanborn Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps were created by the Sanborn Map Company starting in 1867 to aid in the determination of fire hazards (based on building construction, use, and proximity to other hazards) and protection (in terms of fire hydrants and water towers). This information was used by insurance companies to estimate risk of fire and establish insurance premiums. Since the maps were updated periodically, it is possible to view the growth of downtown areas and the change in buildings from one-story wood-frame shops to two- and three story masonry buildings. Streets are named and whether or not they are paved is shown, as is the route of railroad tracks in the downtown areas. Because the names and uses of the buildings are often provided, it is possible to track cultural and economic shifts over time.

Sanborn Maps for Texas cities from 1877 to 1922 (with later revisions) are contained in the Perry-Castaņeda Library Map Collection of the University of Texas. Beaumont's earliest maps were in 1885 and extend to 1941 Revisions. To access the Beaumont maps, click here.

Texas General Land Office Maps

The Texas General Land Office possesses many historical maps for reference or sale. The following GLO maps have been purchased by JCHC:

University of Texas Libraries Maps

The UT Library System has an extensive collection of maps. The following are a small sample of those which pertain to Jefferson County: