The 1942 Cliffside Map
By Reno Bailey
It all began when Horton Landreth told me he owned a map of Cliffside. In all the years I lived there, I’d never heard that such a map existed. Horton had acquired it when the downtown buildings were being torn down in the ’70s. (I’ve since heard that there are other copies.)
The map was drawn by Mr. R. E. Carpenter, the company’s head engineer and architect. The title and legend shown here are taken directly from the map.
The company based its rental fees on the number of rooms in a dwelling. This map was drawn specifically to help keep up with the number of rooms in each company-owned house, in order to calculate its rent, and so was not widely distributed.
The legend indicates the house numbers are drawn outside the house symbols; the number of rooms are drawn inside the symbols. Mr. Carpenter was careful to note that he had not included any outbuildings on the map.
For internet use, the map is huge: 28″ x 19″, larger than an ordinary scanner can handle. After a graphics company scanned it for me, it became apparent that the map in its original form just wouldn’t do. It had been drawn upon, was discolored from age, was stained in places, had been torn and fixed with cellophane tape (which had subsequently deteriorated). In short, it was a mess. So, I pulled the huge file (about 150 megabytes) up in Photoshop and began restoring the document, a process that took several weeks. I began by replacing the entire background with a single color, outlining and filling one small area at a time. Then I overdrew all lines, words and symbols, making them darker for readability (using green on street names and red on the railroad tracks). In a few places it required major reconstruction, but largely the placement of words and symbols, and the visual style and character are Mr. Carpenter’s own.
Here’s a gallery of sections of the map for your examination. Click an image to start.
In 2010 the Society, with the financial help of Duke Energy, put the map on permanent display at the R. R. Haynes Memorial Tower site in Cliffside.