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Although appearing seven years after Lt. Bayfield's "Sketch of the Mouth of the Cayanoga River", Merchant's map is the first accurate published map of Cleveland. The lithographer (lower left corner) was Nathaniel Currier, later of Currier & Ives fame.

It shows the two-acre "in-lots" and the ten-acre "out-lots," which together with the "hundred-acre lots," formed the original triparte plan of the Cleaveland village surveys in 1796-7. Merchant was the County Surveyor at the time and had performed the surveys for many of the speculative real estate developments appearing on the west side of the river, in Ohio City (incorporated in 1836, the year after this map was published). This map should be considered a promotional piece for the Cleveland-Ohio City area, in an attempt to attract property buyers and new commerce.

For more on this plan see: Edmund H. Chapman. Cleveland: village to metropolis: a case study of problems of urban development in nineteenth-century America. (Cleveland, OH: Western Reserve Historical Society and the Press of Western Reserve University. 1964). Chapman is overly-harsh in holding eighteenth century planners accountable for nineteenth century developments, but he is valuable reading, nevertheless.

This map is discussed in my (Bill Barrow's) interpretive essay, "Real Estate" in the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History (1996).

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Last updated June 21, 2003 (originally mounted October 28, 1996)

ã Copyright 1996-2005 by William C. Barrow