I love looking at old maps, and the Library of Congress has a nice collection. Even better, they’re online.
Here’s the handy dandy link: https://www.loc.gov/maps/collections/
Early maps capture a moment in time. It’s amazing how quickly things disappear. Not one of my mother’s childhood homes still exists. One of my own childhood homes was reduced to rubble not long ago. Outdated maps will show that they once existed.
Maps can tell you a lot of things. Historical, rural maps sometimes denoted landowners.
The maps below are of Fort Balize/Balise, an old Spanish fort that once existed at the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana. I like the color of the first map and the detail of the second map. You get a sense of just how exposed to the elements this fort was – and why it’s no longer in existence.