1856 Map... What does SM mean?
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  1. #1
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    1856 Map... What does SM mean?

    Howdy!

    I have been perusing this map of ashtabula county from 1856 a lot recently and I can't help but notice something like this "+ SM" in some locations, often by a creek but not always. I have no idea what this means but I am sure someone else does, If you have any idea please respond! I took a few screenshots just now that I will attach.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The "+" symbol is usually next the SM, but sometimes also GM or in one of the screenshots "Cheese box factory"

    My thoughts is maybe sawmill and gristmill for the SM and GM, but the problem with that would be that I know some of these creeks barely flow at all.

    Thank you for reading!
    Last edited by Noah_D; Dec 26, 2019 at 09:39 PM.
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    "God does not give us everything we want, but he does fulfill his promises,
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    2020 Totals:
    Silvers: 11 (oldest: 1894 half dollar)
    Coppers: 10 (oldest: 1820 lc)
    Flying Eagles: 1 (1857)
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  2. #2
    us
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    Sorry about the pictures they loaded funny.
    "God does not give us everything we want, but he does fulfill his promises,
    leading us along the best and straightest paths to himself" -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    2020 Totals:
    Silvers: 11 (oldest: 1894 half dollar)
    Coppers: 10 (oldest: 1820 lc)
    Flying Eagles: 1 (1857)
    IHPs: 10 (oldest: 1859)
    Silver jewelry/relics: 3
    Gold jewelry/relics: 1

  3. #3
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    According to this site, you are correct. Sawmill & Gristmill. http://lib.berkeley.edu/EART/
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  4. #4
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    Thanks U.B.! I appreciate the link... I wonder how much water a sawmill needed back in the day, cause some of these creeks are pretty small. Another topic to research for another day I guess.

    yes,I just downloaded a 97 page pdf on map abbreviations...
    DizzyDigger and U.B. like this.
    "God does not give us everything we want, but he does fulfill his promises,
    leading us along the best and straightest paths to himself" -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    2020 Totals:
    Silvers: 11 (oldest: 1894 half dollar)
    Coppers: 10 (oldest: 1820 lc)
    Flying Eagles: 1 (1857)
    IHPs: 10 (oldest: 1859)
    Silver jewelry/relics: 3
    Gold jewelry/relics: 1

  5. #5
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    I agree that SM is for saw mill and GM is for grist mill. I have seen this before on old maps of my town & county here in VT
    Noah_D, wilcam47 and Idahodutch like this.
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    Relics: Brass batwing buckle, small pewter spoon bowl, ornate shoe buckle frame fragment, crotal bell, lots of 18th -19th century flat buttons of varying sizes & metal types

  6. #6
    us
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    Thanks for the confirmation Colonial Digger! Out of curiousity, have you ever gotten a chance to detect one of the old mills like on the map?
    VTColonialDigger likes this.
    "God does not give us everything we want, but he does fulfill his promises,
    leading us along the best and straightest paths to himself" -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    2020 Totals:
    Silvers: 11 (oldest: 1894 half dollar)
    Coppers: 10 (oldest: 1820 lc)
    Flying Eagles: 1 (1857)
    IHPs: 10 (oldest: 1859)
    Silver jewelry/relics: 3
    Gold jewelry/relics: 1

  7. #7
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    Some of our smaller creeks down here appear not to have the flow amounts as they once had. I assume it's because of growth in agriculture and water use for crops.
    Last edited by GaRebel1861; Dec 28, 2019 at 01:03 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Interesting. I am working on getting permission for a site that had one of these old mills right now. I'll see what I can find if I can get my coil over one of these sites.
    "God does not give us everything we want, but he does fulfill his promises,
    leading us along the best and straightest paths to himself" -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    2020 Totals:
    Silvers: 11 (oldest: 1894 half dollar)
    Coppers: 10 (oldest: 1820 lc)
    Flying Eagles: 1 (1857)
    IHPs: 10 (oldest: 1859)
    Silver jewelry/relics: 3
    Gold jewelry/relics: 1

  9. #9
    us
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah_D View Post
    Thanks for the confirmation Colonial Digger! Out of curiousity, have you ever gotten a chance to detect one of the old mills like on the map?
    I searched in the river this summer near where I thought some old mills once were but I didn't find much at all. I actually think I was searching in the wrong spot and the mills may have been further down stream.
    Notable 2020 Finds:

    Coins: 1863, 1865, 1874, 1897 indian head pennies, 2 Connecticut coppers, 1 wiped colonial copper (suspected CT copper), Georgivs Triumpho 1783 copper, 1853 Trime, 1957 Rosie Dime

    Relics: Brass batwing buckle, small pewter spoon bowl, ornate shoe buckle frame fragment, crotal bell, lots of 18th -19th century flat buttons of varying sizes & metal types

  10. #10
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    I doubt the "S. M." refers to sawmill. Buildings and structures are usually indicated by a filled in square. Commonly in mapping the plus sign "+" indicates a physical location monument - not a building. I would expect that +SM is actually the location of a surveyors monument. Cartographers include survey monuments to lend credence and accuracy to their mapping.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    I doubt the "S. M." refers to sawmill. Buildings and structures are usually indicated by a filled in square. Commonly in mapping the plus sign "+" indicates a physical location monument - not a building. I would expect that +SM is actually the location of a surveyors monument. Cartographers include survey monuments to lend credence and accuracy to their mapping.
    Thats very interesting, I am reading about surveyors marks and things right now. I do still have a few reservations though, I am still wondering why it would always be by rivers or creeks. And in the townships and settlements that were known to have mills often had these marks, and usually right by the river. Also what would +GM and +Steam SM mean?

    I appreciate the comment, its definitely worth looking into. I don't know enough about it yet though to be sure about anything.

    Thanks! Noah
    Clay Diggins and Idahodutch like this.
    "God does not give us everything we want, but he does fulfill his promises,
    leading us along the best and straightest paths to himself" -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    2020 Totals:
    Silvers: 11 (oldest: 1894 half dollar)
    Coppers: 10 (oldest: 1820 lc)
    Flying Eagles: 1 (1857)
    IHPs: 10 (oldest: 1859)
    Silver jewelry/relics: 3
    Gold jewelry/relics: 1

  12. #12
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    One screen shot says "Steam G. & SM"
    so, steam-driven grist mill and saw mill - both very important in early days...!
    Stick With It - It's not *IF* you'll find the good stuff , but WHEN!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyemustdigtreasure View Post
    One screen shot says "Steam G. & SM"
    so, steam-driven grist mill and saw mill - both very important in early days...!
    Steam is a remote possibility. I can find no historical reference to a steam powered mill in Ashtabula County but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    More to the point is that the earliest known steam powered mill in Ohio was at the Algonquin mill. That steam engine was installed in 1890. The Issac Ludwig mill installed steam power in 1908.

    The 1856 date on the OP's map is a very early date for steam powered mills anywhere in the territories. Steam power didn't become common in the United States until after the Civil war. I think if there had been a steam powered mill anywhere in Ohio during that period it would be well documented.
    Idahodutch, Noah_D and BillA like this.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah_D View Post
    Thanks U.B.! I appreciate the link... I wonder how much water a sawmill needed back in the day, cause some of these creeks are pretty small. Another topic to research for another day I guess.

    yes,I just downloaded a 97 page pdf on map abbreviations...
    Can you please post a link?
    _______________________________

    WhyMe

    CTX-3030, Equinox 800

  15. #15

    Mar 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    Steam is a remote possibility. I can find no historical reference to a steam powered mill in Ashtabula County but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    More to the point is that the earliest known steam powered mill in Ohio was at the Algonquin mill. That steam engine was installed in 1890. The Issac Ludwig mill installed steam power in 1908.

    The 1856 date on the OP's map is a very early date for steam powered mills anywhere in the territories. Steam power didn't become common in the United States until after the Civil war. I think if there had been a steam powered mill anywhere in Ohio during that period it would be well documented.
    https://resources.ohiohistory.org/oh...=84&pages=5-56

    http://leehite.org/documents/Made%20...0Machinery.pdf

    Take a look..some interesting history there.

    My vote is for Sawmill and Gristmill.
    Very important at the time to be shown on a map.
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