Old Map Symbols

I hope this is large enough to read:
EDIT- Click to enlarge

Here’s a symbol I’ve yet to identify? On a map dated 1942, and my only guess would be a horse track, but could possibly be some sort of factory I suppose.

We have the same symbol on a map a mile from where I live. It was a racetrack that shut down in like 1960’ish, they were actually racing those antique cars around a track. I’m not a car guy so not sure of the models, but a local historian has a painting of it, looks like mobster cars all racing around a dirt track :joy:

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Good to know, thanks! Might require a drive by and additional research.

On the late 1800s maps from my area, that oval shape means race track (for horses). For a 40s map like that, it might be an athletic field, like a track. Although usually there would be a school marking nearby. Could just be an oval-shaped drive. Satellite view on Google Maps and any old aerial photos should help to clear it up.

Track was the 1st think that popped into my head, lol…but generally speaking, what seems “obvious” to me, I’m usually wrong.

The large square in it has me a bit baffled too, fieldhouse, factory, football field, etc?

I’d already done a map overlay on google earth, and looked at satellite imagery. No evidence of its existence, and much of it currently farm ground.

Will be looking into further, for sure.


Have you tried looking at LiDAR maps?

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Wasn’t familiar with the term, so had to look it up. I “think” there’s something similar on Google Earth, but need to check to be sure.

So, what exactly would (could) that tell me?

Stuff that is invisible to overhead imagery and the naked eye can be spotted with Lidar. I use it to find foundations, walkways, cellar holes, etc hidden away in the middle of the woods, but it works good anywhere to get a picture of what the terrain looked at once upon a time.

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Thanks for posting this. Not exactly sure if it’s something I could figure out, being of the “technology challenged” persuasion, lol.

But I’ll certainly look into it. I’d be in for any advantage I can get.

Ive seen a local map round my area with an oval like that and it was labeled “Gentleman’s Driving Track” which definitely sounds like a horse racing track. Unfortunately, the area was a bust, with only one Barber dime found in the area, so maybe it never got off the ground? Another area has an oval like that, with a square inside it. A house still stands there, but have yet to talk to the owners t see if they know what it means, or the history of the property