Early Florida Discovery-Part 1

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Early Florida History Part One

 Spanish conquistadors are the bedrock of early Florida history. These were individuals who were set out with the task of conquering and settling a land. They were explorers, but were also considered to be mercenaries since they often sought treasure and were entitled to a portion of whatever they found. The kings saw this as a fair trade and it was also a great motivator for getting people to launch out into the great unknown.

You have to understand that in the lat 1400s, there were two common misconceptions about the earth.  The first was that it was flat.  If you sailed long and far enough you would sail right over the edge. After all, many people were familiar with waterfalls, so it only stood to reason that the earth had edges that were massive waterfalls waiting to send you careening toward your death.

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The second misconception was that there were great and terrible sea monsters that lie beneath the surface of the ocean.  They were waiting to swallow up anything that crossed their path.  As such, finding explorers was difficult at times. The treasure bounty made it easier to recruit hesitant explorers.

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One such explorer was Ponce de Leon. He was commissioned by Spain to voyage across the sea to the Americas and had been exploring the waters off the coast of Florida.  His first voyage was in the year 1493, with Christopher Columbus of all people. Over time, Ponce de Leon discovered the island of Puerto Rico and some of the Bahamas, but he was absolutely fascinated with the so-called fountain of youth. The local Indians spoke of this magical, legendary spring of water that supposedly made old people young again. Ponce de Leon was in search of this very place and happened to discover Puerto Rico, Bimini Island of the Bahamas, and the coast of Florida in the process.
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His first encounter with Florida was the city of St. Augustine. Hungry for gold and still searching for the fountain of youth, his exhibition landed in March of 1513. He promptly claimed the land for Spain.

Named after the patron saint St. Augustine because the conquistador first saw the coastline on his feast day,  he was amazed at the beautiful beaches and many flowers that he saw upon landing. As such, he named the place “La Florida” which means “place of flowers” in Spanish.  Yet, the history of the state would be anything but “rosey” moving forward.

Check back with us on Part 2 of 3 of the history of early discovery of Florida….the story of conquistadors, treasure maps, and the fountain of youth!

©2014 Lisa Middleton, All Rights Reserved

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New Map Monday- Mitchell’s map of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies

Map of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies [Insets of Bermuda, Sandwich Islands, Jamaica and Panama Railroad]

4x6 Sandwhich Islands

 

Produced in Philadelphia in the year 1878, this is a hand colored map by renowned cartographer Samuel Augustus Mitchell Junior. This “Map of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies [Insets of Bermuda, Sandwich Islands, Jamaica and Panama Railroad]”,  was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hawaii’s discovery.

It was the year 1778 and British Capt. James Cook was attempting to find the Northwest passage thought to be somewhere between Alaska and Asia. Instead, he stumbled upon this small group of islands. He was rather surprised to find something so tropical that far north in the Pacific Ocean and named them the “Sandwich Islands”, after the fourth Earl of Sandwich. They landed and got to know the locals in a few ways.

Many of them were sick with venereal diseases or tuberculosis thanks to the generosity of Cook and his men. The British visit almost cost the islands their entire population by the time the diseases worked their way through the community.  Yet in the end they survived and Hawaii is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world so the discovery was not in vain.
This map expertly commemorates that discovery with decorative borders and a few other insets. The insets add interest to the piece and nicely highlight the specific areas as well. Of interest is the table that describes each island of Hawaii. This is a nice touch and a head nod to Cook’s original discovery. Attractive and colorful, this map is rare indeed.

©2014 Lisa Middleton, All Rights Reserved

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New Map Lake Pend Orielle-Completely designed from head to foot by Lisa

Lake Pend Oreille is the largest lake in the northern Idaho panhandle and the largest lake in Idaho with a length of 43 miles and a surface area of 148 square miles. It is the fifth deepest lake in the United States with a depth of nearly 1,150 feet. Deeper than even Loch Ness, some locals have rumored the existence of a sea monster rivaling its Scottish cousin named the Pend Oreille Paddler, though it is likely just a giant sturgeon. Though the lake has a large 111 mile shoreline, most of it remains unpopulated.

The lake is surrounded by three mountain ranges, the Couer d’Alenes in the south located in the Couer d’Alenes National Forest, the Cabinet Mountains in the North, the Green Monarchs to the east located in the Kaniksu National Forest, and the Selkirk Mountains to the north and west. This places the lake at the southern end of the Purcell Trench, a glacially formed valley that reaches northward into Canada. The lake itself was formed by a glacier moving and melting southward from Canada through the trench. The path of the Missoula Flood, a calamitous ancient flood, is believed to have passed through the area from the easternmost point of the lake which had massive geological effects on the region. The lake is now fed by Clark Fork River, named for the famous American explorer, and the Pack River and drains via the Pend Oreille River which runs into Washington State.

Canadian fur trader and explorer David Thompson, known as one of the most prolific land geographers and map-makers of his time, founded a trading post in what is present day Hope, Idaho for the North West Company on the lake in 1809. One of his associates remarked that the lake’s shape resembled a human ear. Thus, he referred to it as Pend d’Oreille, a French phrase for a pendant or jewelry that is hung from an ear. The indian tribe, the Kalispel, which was settled at the mouth of the Clark Fork River where the trading post was located, wore characteristic ear hangings of shells from the lake and river. The trading post was called the Kullyspell House which was Thompson’s spelling of the resident tribe. The Kalispel, now often referred to as Pend d’Oreille, are thought to have migrated south from British Columbia. They were referred to as river and lake paddlers and lived primarily as semi-nomadic fishermen and hunters. The tribes people lived in tipis and lodges built of cattails woven into mats.

The lake has had an interesting role American history. It was once a main part of the route for those seeking fame in the gold rush in the late 1800s. During the second World War, it was the home of a naval testing site for submarines due to its depth. It is still used by the Navy for some acoustic testing. The lake and its surrounding rivers also contributes as a source of electricity to the area. In 1952, the Cabinet Gorge Dam was built on the Clark Fork River and is privately owned. In 1955, the Army Corps of Engineers built the Albeni Falls Dam across the lake on the Pend Oreille River. The lake is now a tourist attraction for its beauty and fishing.

This high quality photographic print was made form a one of a kind hand painted custom designed map by Lisa Middleton. The original hand painted custom map and many more hand-painted historic maps are available from www.greatriverarts.com

This map is available in 11×14″ for $24.95

or as a limited edition Giclee 18×24″ for $125.00

https://www.etsy.com/shop/GreatRiverPublishing?ref=hdr_shop_menu

©2014 Lisa Middleton, All Rights Reserved
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A New Map of Whitefish Lake Designed by Lisa

Whitefish Lake one mile wide at its widest part and seven miles long. It’s deepest point is 232 feet. At its southern point lies the city of Whitefish. Looming over the lake on its northeast side at 6,817 feet is Whitefish Mountain.

Whitefish Lake was formed through glacial movements around the time of the great Missoula Floods at the end of the last ice age. Most of the area of western Montana was once covered by the glacial lake, and as the ice sheets and dams melted, much of the area was flooded. The rate of the flowing water was so great that it carved streams and valleys into the bedrock. The floods occurred repeatedly over 2,500 years and often dragged sediment and boulders which created dams leading to pockets of lakes throughout the region.

Right around 1850, a group of fur traders and trappers found the indigenous population who resided at the lake fishing for a particular fish. The fish appeared to be white to the trappers and they named the lake accordingly. Though it was a popular place for trappers, fishers, and traders to travel through for many decades, there was no settlement at the lake until John Morton built a cabin on the shore of the lake near the mouth of the Whitefish River in 1883. Soon after, the logging industry took an interest in the area. Loggers would float their logs on the lake to the mouth of the river. They would then dam up the river and then release the water which would help them float their logs all the way down to the city of Kalispell.

In the early 1900s, tasked with finding an easier route through the Rocky Mountains, the Great Northern Railway decided to make their regional headquarters near the lake and direct the train through the area, dedicating the town in 1903. The railroad gave the town an important economic boost and brought in more loggers. When the railroad industry and logging industry slowed in the middle of the century, new economic possibilities were entertained with the creation of a ski resort and a well regarded golf course. The lake is now a source of recreation for many of those visiting the area. It is also an important source of drinking water for those residing there, so be careful with your golf swing.

©2014 Lisa Middleton, All Rights Reserved

This map is available as an 11×14″ and 18×24″ at www.etsy.com/shop/greatriverpublishing

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A New Map of Coeur d’Alene designed stem to stern by Lisa

Pronounced core-da-lane, Lake Coeur d’Alene is a lake located in the Idaho Panhandle stretching 25 miles long, starting at the city of the same name, Coeur d’Alene in the north, and reaching down into the indian reservation of the same name at its southernmost point. At its widest point the lake is 3 miles wide, and although it is not as deep as some of the other lakes in the panhandle, there is over 109 miles of shoreline. The lake changes in height seven feet

The lake was formed as a direct result of the ancient Missoula Floods. These floods occurred as an ice dam that helped to form a great glacial lake to the north and east of Lake Coeur d’Alene melted at the end of the last ice age. The floods brought great amounts of sediment and boulders into the plains to the south. The sediments and boulders dammed up tributaries which developed into lakes. The lake is fed primarily by Coeur d’Alene River and the Saint Joe River and drains into the Spokane River at its northern point, flowing directly into the city of Spokane, Washington.

When French-Canadian traders and fur trappers came through the area, they encountered the indigenous population which referred to themselves as the Skitwish meaning simply “The Discovered People.” They began to engage in trades with this tribe and found them to be “sharp” in their skills and rather cold in their manners as noted by the trader Russ Cox of the Pacific Fur Company which was later sold to the North West Company. Thus, they were known as the Pointed Hearts, or, in French, Coeur d’Alene, which translates as “heart of the awl.” Though their tribal lands once stretched across the plains of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, an Executive Order by President Ulysses S. Grant established the reservation on which the tribe currently resides. The size of the reservation has been reduced through the years from a size of 600,000 acres to 70,000 acres in present day. Though the tribe was initially known for its skill in fishing and trapping as well as its shrewd business skills, they are now known for the hotel and casino that they own an operate, a large tribal farm, and their stewardship over the environment.

This name was then given to the lake, the mountains, and the city which grew around the fort built on the lake in the 1870s. The fort was ordered to be built by General Sherman following the Oregon treaty with Britain, giving the United States control of land south of the 49th parallel. The city was incorporated in 1887.

Though the lake is now surrounded by resorts, golf courses, and other tourist attractions, it was once surrounded primarily by lumber mills and mining towns. The lumber industry was a pivotal source of economic development for the area in the early 1900s. Steamboats were used to carry building materials across the lake in the late 1800s and many of the boats did not survive and can still be found on the bottom of the lake. Next to these boats, a diver might also find a Model-T Ford, as many people attempted to drive across the lake in the winter rather than around it. Unfortunately for those drivers, this is not a safe way to travel.

©2014 Lisa Middleton, All Rights Reserved

This map may be viewed here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/209560030/a-new-map-of-lake-coeur-dalene-11×17-uv?

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Big River Magazine, Fall 2013

 

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A New Map of Lake Coeur D’Alene designed by Lisa

Pronounced core-da-lane, Lake Coeur d’Alene is a lake located in the Idaho Panhandle stretching 25 miles long, starting at the city of the same name, Coeur d’Alene in the north, and reaching down into the indian reservation of the same name at its southernmost point. At its widest point the lake is 3 miles wide, and although it is not as deep as some of the other lakes in the panhandle, there is over 109 miles of shoreline. The lake changes in height seven feet

The lake was formed as a direct result of the ancient Missoula Floods. These floods occurred as an ice dam that helped to form a great glacial lake to the north and east of Lake Coeur d’Alene melted at the end of the last ice age. The floods brought great amounts of sediment and boulders into the plains to the south. The sediments and boulders dammed up tributaries which developed into lakes. The lake is fed primarily by Coeur d’Alene River and the Saint Joe River and drains into the Spokane River at its northern point, flowing directly into the city of Spokane, Washington.

When French-Canadian traders and fur trappers came through the area, they encountered the indigenous population which referred to themselves as the Skitwish meaning simply “The Discovered People.” They began to engage in trades with this tribe and found them to be “sharp” in their skills and rather cold in their manners as noted by the trader Russ Cox of the Pacific Fur Company which was later sold to the North West Company. Thus, they were known as the Pointed Hearts, or, in French, Coeur d’Alene, which translates as “heart of the awl.” Though their tribal lands once stretched across the plains of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, an Executive Order by President Ulysses S. Grant established the reservation on which the tribe currently resides. The size of the reservation has been reduced through the years from a size of 600,000 acres to 70,000 acres in present day. Though the tribe was initially known for its skill in fishing and trapping as well as its shrewd business skills, they are now known for the hotel and casino that they own an operate, a large tribal farm, and their stewardship over the environment.

This name was then given to the lake, the mountains, and the city which grew around the fort built on the lake in the 1870s. The fort was ordered to be built by General Sherman following the Oregon treaty with Britain, giving the United States control of land south of the 49th parallel. The city was incorporated in 1887.

Though the lake is now surrounded by resorts, golf courses, and other tourist attractions, it was once surrounded primarily by lumber mills and mining towns. The lumber industry was a pivotal source of economic development for the area in the early 1900s. Steamboats were used to carry building materials across the lake in the late 1800s and many of the boats did not survive and can still be found on the bottom of the lake. Next to these boats, a diver might also find a Model-T Ford, as many people attempted to drive across the lake in the winter rather than around it. Unfortunately for those drivers, this is not a safe way to travel.

available at https://www.etsy.com/listing/209560030/a-new-map-of-lake-coeur-dalene?

available at https://www.etsy.com/listing/209560030/a-new-map-of-lake-coeur-dalene?

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A New Map of Flathead Lake, designed from head to foot by Lisa

Flathead Lake, with a surface area of up to 197 square miles, is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River in the continental United States.

The ancient glacial lake, Lake Missoula, once sat in this region. When the glaciers melted and most of the water flooded into the valleys to the south and east, the area of Flathead Lake was dammed by the end of glacial moraine, a collection of debris in the form of silt and rock frozen together, located in Polson at the southern point of the present day lake. When the glacier was still present in the lake, the level of the water was nearly 500 feet higher than it is now.

The Salish Indians, which initially provided the name for the lake, now reside on the Flathead Indian Reservation which borders the southern half of the lake. Though they did not practice head alteration as some of the indians in the area did, they were referred to as Flatheads by neighboring Columbia River tribes who practiced head shaping. The Salish traveled east towards the lake from the west coast and encountered the Kootenai tribe which had already been in present-day Montana and Idaho. These tribes and their ancestors, along with the Pend d’Oreille, are thought to have lived in the area for many thousands of years.

As with many of the settled areas of western Montana, the logging industry and the building of the railroads were important aspects of the region’s development. Many logs were floated down the Flathead river, across the north side of the lake, and over to Somers where they were milled into railroad ties.

The lake is popular with boaters, and because of its cleanliness, it is reported that you can see quite far down into the calm lake waters. Though the water may be clear, this has not helped in the effort to document the mythical Flathead Lake Monster, said to be of similar shape and size to the famous Loch Ness monster. The first spotting of the supposed giant eel like water creature was by James Kerr and the passengers of his steamboat U.S. Grant in 1889. Theories of the monster’s origins abound and sightings continue to this day, though only one or two people a year actually claim to see it.

This map is available in 11×17″ and 18×24″

Visit www.etsy.com/shop/greatriverpublishing to order


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Historic River Maps make Great Gifts! Now, Order FRAMED Maps!

Historic River Maps Make Great Gifts!

I walked into Village Custom Frame in La Crosse, WI, the other day and found Sue busy at work filling orders for Lisa Middleton’s historic map prints ordered for Christmas giving. The framed maps 1887 Ribbon Maps are a GREAT idea for a corner nitch, or between two windows, or as a cabin feature!

If you don’t live in La Crosse, Stockholm, Alma, Winona, or Wabasha … where many of the frame shops sell Lisa’s maps already framed… you can now order FRAMED and matted 1887 Mississippi River Ribbon maps at the Great River Publishing gift shop, shipped to your door for just $160 at ETSY.com/shop/greatriverpublishing  or by phoning 888-255-7726. 

$145 includes choice of mat color (choose from those samples show) with a dark wooden frame in black or brown. Maps can be shipped directly to the recipient within the USA for just $20!

Questions? Ready to order? Have another of Lisa’s historic map paintings you’d like framed and shipped? Want to frame the original painting?

Please call!

1-888-255-7726

 
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Updated Show Schedule

Tell your neighbors! Tell your friends! 

November 7-9 Artrageous, Hamilton MT
November 21-23 Custer Show, Spokane WA
November 28-30 Under the Big Sky Holiday Festival, Missoula, MT
December 6 Lakeside Holiday Fest, Lakeside MT
December 14 Made Fair Missoula *

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