SHSND Home > North Dakota History > Unit 1: The Natural World > Set 2: Mapping the Land & its People > List of Maps > Colton's Map

Unit 1: Set 2: Mapping the Land & its People - Colton's Map

Introduction | List of Maps

This map was created in 1885 by G. W. and C. B. Colton and Company. George Woolworth and Charles B. Colton succeeded their father as the best mapmakers in the United States during the 19th century. This map measures 14 ½ by 12 ¾ inches. Source: SHSND 978.402 G11c 1885

Colton's Map
Colton's Map of Dakota (1885)

Colton’s map is dated before the territory was split in two at statehood. It is a largely political map in that it shows such political boundaries as the territorial border, county lines, and township lines. Sheridan County features Dogs Den Butte which has been present under other names on many earlier maps. Note the towns building approximately every 7 miles along the railroad line as designated by the railroad engineers.

Map Activity: Where are most of the towns located? Why? If you were planning to move to Dakota in 1885 which features on this map would you consider most appealing? Where are the Indian reservations? Compare this map to the 1884 Railroad Map. How do the maps differ?

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 701.328.2091 or
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666

Social Media:
See all social media accounts