The Altadena Historical Society’s cartography collection includes more than 50 maps that chart Altadena's history, progress and dreams for the future. In addition, we have maps covering Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley, and the Los Angeles area.
Many are practical representations depicting the distance between places, demarcation of travel routes, and the location of boundaries. Others are whimsical graphic representations publicizing community sites, like businesses and parks.
Maps tell darker stories as well, of racism, poverty, and economic downturn. Government tract maps show sub-divided pieces of land. Realtor's maps boast plans for future subdivisions. Community booster maps, like those issued by the Chamber of Commerce, persuade businesses and home buyers to put down roots in Altadena.
Our maps date from 1849 to present, and cover a wide range of topics, including: public works, political maps, the Angeles National Forest and area mountain ranges, charts and schematics for the Mt. Lowe railroad, aerial photo maps dating from as far back as the 1920's, and U.S. Geological Survey maps.