Re: [jacksongenealogy] Availability of a Web site containing pre-TVA Gunterville watershed survey maps
- Now I must correct my own mistakes.? After the last message I found out Hales Bar was built in the early 1900's and must have been taken over by TVA at a later date. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
Sent: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 3:50 pm
Subject: Re: [jacksongenealogy] Availability of a Web site containing pre-TVA Gunterville watershed survey maps
Not being critical ,of so much hard work, but just trying to keep the history correct.? TVA built Hales Bar and Guntersville Dam in the late 30's and Hales Bar had a crack in the dam and was under constant repair for many years.? This area from Hale Town to The Big Suck, in the Tennessee River, has always been unstable. Some 30 years later TVA elected to move down stream to the area of Nickajack Cave and build a new dam because they could not control the unstable land at Hales Bar.
This cave area was the home and hunting ground for our Native Americans and has a history of its own.? To keep the water level the same as the old dam much more land had to be flooded. This included the cave and Native American land that had been taken over by the white people.?
When I was a young man we would exprore the cave and pick up artifacts in the area.? We were some of the last folks to have this privilage because it was flooded and now underwater.
This is history in my own lifetime and is the facts.? Hope you understand and do not feel I am being critical but just trying make sure your work is correct, because after you print something folks take it to be the fact.
From: nettiebau1952 <abradford@...>
Sent: Sat, 4 Oct 2008 12:29 pm
Subject: [jacksongenealogy] Availability of a Web site containing pre-TVA Gunterville watershed survey maps
I apologize for the length of this append, but I am writing to offer
you access to a Web site that my husband and I created to help you
locate your family homes and properties that bordered the Tennessee
River and the creeks that empty into it in Marshall and Jackson
County on pre-TVA maps:
This Web site will be available at least three months. During this
time, I hope to fully debug it and perhaps write a better
introduction to the maps. After a while, I will create a CD with this
set of maps on it that you can purchase for a nomial fee from the
Heritage Center in Scottsboro, with all proceeds returned to the
Heritage Center. The CD will provide a faster way to access all the
I invite anyone with surveying expertise to write a better
explanation than the one I have written or anyone related to these
families to send me corrections to the information. Please send me
transcription errors or broken links, but not changes to names. I am
trying to reproduce the names faithfully as I find them on the maps,
though there are TVA-initiated spelling errors.
As a genealogy researcher, I have always been frustrated that many of
the family sites I would like to visit are under water. Recently, I
was pleased to stumble upon a fragile old book that contained
surveyers' maps of the pre-TVA river, and even more important, the
families who owned the land. The maps indicate the 1934 shorelines
and show elevations and the TVA's estimation of what parts of this
land will be under water after the Gunterville and Nickajack Dams are
closed and the area is flooded.
There are about 100 maps and the legends to interpret them. They are
color-coded by land use and show all the elevations and the land that
the TVA surveyers expected to be covered by water, along with who
owned the land at the time the damns were built. The locations of
moved cemeteries can be determined. Original family homesteads and
their relationship to the creeks and river can be seen.
These 100 numbered maps are queued to a base page that lists the maps
by numbered parcels keyed to the township maps, with lots of
information that a surveyor would understand, but I do not. I turned
this base page into a clickable image map and then indexed the maps
by geographical features mentioned and families on each parcel.
Some of the maps are missing. The maps in Tennessee are not in this
collection. Scottsboro apparently had too much detail in the area
between the opening to Roseberry Creek and the BB Comer Bridge for
that map to be included, for example. Some are just inexplicably
missing. If you click on a parcel for which there is no map, you will
see a window that says that map is not part of this collection.
How to use the maps
You can find locations on the maps visually by knowing where you are
in the counties. You can refine that location by passing the mouse
pointer over a numbered sectors and waiting a few seconds until a
description of what is covered in the sector appears in a flyover. I
am open to changing the descriptions that I have provided for better
ones, so if you know a familiar name for an area that I did know
know, send it to me. My email address is on the introductory page.
Be sure and give me the number of the map that the description
The base page is only the image map with flyovers. The photos were
taken at First Monday by my husband in the 1970s. If you click on the
words Jackson County or Marshall County in the middle of the base
page, or on the maps of the counties at the bottom, the overall map
remains for reference but links are added to the page specific to
that county. You see first the numbered maps for that county with an
alphabetic list of the names on the map. Scroll further and you see
an alphabetic list of all names for all maps in that county that are
hyperlinked to the map where they appear. Some names appear multiple
times because they are found on multiple maps. If you scroll further,
you find the geographical (creek names, for example) or man-made (a
church, cemetery, or railroad line) features on the maps. These are
also hyperlinked to the map where they appear. If this same feature
can be found on a modern navigational map for the Tennessee River, a
link to the modern map is provided. Clicking on that link will pop up
another browser instance showing the selected modern map.
To understand the symbols and color used on the map, the legend for
the map set is available by clicking the legend link on the left side
of the base image map.
Is your ancestor's property listed on the TVA maps?
The easiest way to determine this is to use the alphabetic name index
by county and look them up. If there is a name that is close and the
location is correct, look at the map. I may have made a transcription
error, or the TVA surveyors may have made a spelling error.
Relating a location on a TVA historical map a modern navigational
I was actually surprised how many of the landmarks on these maps from
the 1930s are still found on modern navigational maps. My husband got
the most wonderful book for $20.00 a few years ago at the Goosepond
marina: The Army Corps of Engineers: Tennessee River Navigation
Charts. Our copy was updated January 2000 and I see from their web
that this book is out of print. However, any of the maps from this
book can be downloaded and printed from this site, though my Web site
includes the ones that make up the Lake Guntersville Watershed.
Simply look on the same feature on both maps and compare them.
Relating a location on a TVA historical map to a township and range
I have included the maps of Jackson and Marshall County showing
sectors and township in this collection. These maps are copied from
the University of Alabama map site: http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/
I have added vertical and horizontal lines to made the individual
townships/range "addresses" easier to locate. An individual range map
is 36 square miles. The sector is divided into 36 parcels that are 1
mile by 1 mile, numbered like this:
6 5 4 3 2 1
12 11 10 9 8 7
18 17 16 15 14 13
24 23 22 21 20 19
30 29 28 27 26 25
36 35 34 33 32 31
So in this map collection, you will see an arrow that makes the map
true to the township grid, but you will also see several designations
showing where you are in the township, something like this:
28 | 27
33 | 34
And this set of numbers locates the area you are looking at within
the township, per the grid I drew above. Every map also contains a
table that shows you more detailed information that I need help for a
surveyer to decipher, but I figure these are longitude and lattitude
There is a good explanation of township and range designations at
this Web site: http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa090897.htm
There is a way to translate between GPS coordinates and township and
range designations at this really neat Web site:
Saving a copy of a map to your computer
To really study the information on a map, it helps to magnify it. You
can do that with almost any graphics program, including the native
Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. Here is how to copy and view a map.
1. Right click on the image you want and select Save picture as. The
default Windows location is My Pictures, but you can browse to a
different location. I usually save to my desktop initially.
2. Right-click on the icon for the image or its name in Windows
Explorer and select Preview. This shows the image in the Picture
3. Click the magnifying glass + and - icons below the image to make
it larger and smaller, respectively.
Printing a map
Print programs are very different, and you are, I'm sure, familiar
with your own printer characteristics. However, if you have access to
a printer, anyone can print one of these maps using the Window print
Right-click on the icon for the image or its name in Windows Explorer
and select Print. This action launches a wizard that steps you
through Picture Selection (click the image to print), Printer Options
(select a printer and define preferences for this doc), Layout (the
program rotates the image as needed for maximum size), and Finish.
You can also open any GIF or JPG file with a browser using the File--
Open File option.
If you wanted a large image, you could save the map to a USB stick or
CD and take it to a print service like Kinkos. I have not tried this
so I don't know that maximum size you could get with decent
resolution. I am guessing 16 x 20. Most of the images are fairly
large, though the second set of "out of focus" shots we redid are of
lower resolution. There is one remaining out of focus map we will
have to reshoot at a later time.
Some technical issues
I have tested the maps on Mozilla and Internet Explorer. My son did a
spot check using the Safari browser on a Mac. If you are using any
more exotic browser, I have not tested these environments. Email me
about any display issues.
The maps have been processed through Photoshop Elements to clean them
up, brighten them, up the contrast for readabilty, and correct the
skew. They were trued to the grid during this process, and saved as
I wanted the maps to be high enough resolution to print well, and the
tradeoff is, they may load slowly. Ann Chambless tested this for me
with the Scottsboro service provider and found that a typical map
takes about a minute to download.
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