USGS topographic maps for the Goodnow Flow Newcomb NY- historical and current

There are current and historical maps available from the United States Geological Survey  (USGS).  I was working on assembling maps showing the west end of the Goodnow Flow which has changed over the past century.  That’s  because the Flow is the consequence of damming the Goodnow river at the east end of the current lake in the logging era and then the addition of the Shadow dam at the west end much later.  Checking various archived maps, the Shadow dam apparently was made sometime between 1967 and 1984.  The main Flow wasn’t there in 1903 but is in my Finch-Pruyn ADK logging maps which were created in the 1920s or thirties.

USGS Maps for the Goodnow Flow area at different times

I picked three timepoints. I made a current era assembly from 1997 and one from 1954 which is more or less contemporaneous with the laying out of the Lots for properties in the Goodnow Flow subdivision. The final map predates the Flow’s creation– the Newcomb (east) block there is from 1901, the west block where Shadow Pond would be is from 1903. Note that the level of the Flow has changed with different iterations of the main easterly dam. Click thumbnail-images to bring up full-size light-boxes.

USGS Historical maps

Today I found an easy to use USGS maps web-interface. It enables you to pick locations and then check a timeline for what maps are available for different eras and at different scales.  That is much more convenient than what I’ve found in the past.  You can download the full maps directly but you can also buy various offerings printed on heavy paper for wall art or whatever.

I was going to try and reassemble parts from the relevant flow and shadow pond squares in Illustrator. Then found you can bring up historical maps from different squares in the USGS web interface. I did that for various era and snipped-out the same area of interest from each mash-up using Screen Expresso, a screenshot utility.

Maps for the Goodnow Flow location

The one that folks generally buy as art includes the main part of the Flow with a scale of 1:62500. Unfortunately the boundary between map squares at that scale runs North South just west of Shadow dam so Shadow pond is in the next block over.

Maps of the Flow at the 1:62500 scale are all tagged as ‘Newcomb’ but the naming for the next block over to the west was first Blue Mountain and then later becomes Deerland.  A map set at 1:250000 is tagged Utica. There is one intermediate sized quadrangle termed Raquette Lake at 1:100000. that one has the flow and shadow pond but its just the one 1984 timepoint so it wasn’t very useful to me.

One caveat is that detail is not necessarily complete. I can’t see the track at the west of the Flow over Shadow dam in any of the maps, and Joseph pond isn’t visible in the earliest Newcomb square from the 1900s.  Also the colors aren’t quite consistent between the east and west blocks even in the same period. The typefaces change over the years.

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