Elkins, West Virginia, 1897


This panoramic map shows Elkins, West Virginia, as it appeared in 1897. The city was developed as a railroad hub in the 1880s by two entrepreneurs and politicians: Henry Gassaway Davis (1823–1916) and Stephen Benton Elkins (1841–1911), with the city named after the latter. Both men served terms representing West Virginia in the U.S. Senate. The map shows the city of Elkins along the Tygart’s Valley River, with two bridges crossing the river—one for rail (adjacent to Railroad Avenue) and one for pedestrians and other transport (Davis Avenue). A train is seen on the far side of town, traveling on the West Virginia Central Railroad. The railroad enabled the success of industry involving the extraction of natural resources such as coal and timber. The index at the bottom of the map indicates points of interest, including the railroad hub, major industrial facilities, shops, schools, churches (Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist Colored, and United Brethren), and the opera house. The panoramic map was a cartographic form in popular use to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also known as bird’s-eye views or perspective maps, these works are representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Not generally drawn to scale, they show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective. This map is by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler (1842–1922), one of the most prolific makers of panoramic maps. Fowler was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and fought and was wounded in the American Civil War. After working for an uncle who was a photographer, in 1870 he established his own panoramic map firm. Over the course of a long career, Fowler made panoramic maps of cities in 21 states and parts of Canada.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

T. M. Fowler & James B. Moyer, Morrisville, Pennsylvania


Title in Original Language

Elkins, Randolph County, W.Va. 1897

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map ; 38 x 62 centimeters

Last updated: March 3, 2016