Founded in 1867 by Massachusetts surveyor Daniel Alfred
Sanborn, The Sanborn Map Company created maps of U.S. towns for
insurance assessment purposes until 1970. Headquartered in Pelham, New
York, the company had regional offices in San Francisco and Chicago.
12,000 communities were mapped by Sanborn and original copies are
now archived in libraries and museums across the United States.
Today the maps are heavily used for various reasons. Property owners
often gain clues about the development of their house or building over
the years. Researchers and planners gain information about individual
properties or a city as a whole. Some users are gratified to find that
the Sanborns give them proof of a pre-existing use of a property which
will allow them, by grandfather clauses, to keep a porch, a garage, a
duplex or an outbuilding.
maps are large-scale maps with accurate details and were usually drawn
at 50 or 100 feet to an inch. Using color-coding they show individual
building "footprints," construction details such as building material
(brick, wood, concrete, etc.), number of stories, location of doors,
windows, chimneys and elevators, garages and outbuildings. They also
show whether a structure is a dwelling, a school, a hotel, a church or a
retail establishment. Properties are shown by address and streets,
railroads, docks and piers are clearly noted.
THE EVERETT SANBORNS
Sanborn maps were made of incorporated Everett for May 1892, January
1893, 1902, 1904 and 1914. The 1914 edition was then updated showing
changes from 1937 through June of 1955 by a series of images pasted over
the base 1914 map. The Everett Public Library’s Northwest has two hard
copy volumes of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Everett, the 1914
Sanborn and the version updated with paste-overs to 1955. These have
recently been digitized and archivally rebound with grants money from
the Washington State Library’s LSTA program. The digitized versions, in
full color, are presented here. The library also has microfilm copies
of all Sanborns for Everett, as well as for other Snohomish County
towns, which can be used in the library. The microfilm copies are in
black and white only.
HOW TO SEARCH AND PRINT
When viewing the digital Sanborns, choose either the 1914 Sanborn or
the 1955 update. A title page will appear. Check the Index and Key
pages also as these will tell you the page to view for the address your
searching and will explain the symbols and color code meanings. Full
pages will be in view at a little over 6% in size. You can print out
the full page or enlarge a detail many times by clicking on it until it
is the size you would like. Then print.