Historical Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

24 Jun Historical Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Have you ever wondered what your house or another building looked like originally? You may be able to find some clues by searching the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. This is a valuable tool for genealogists, local historians, architects, and anyone who wants to learn about the growth of a town. The maps give street names and house numbers. Why were these maps made? Evidently, it was partially so people couldn’t be dishonest when they reported fire damage. The building specifications are on the maps. After finding the address you want, you’ll find an outline of the building along with its construction materials, size, and height. You’ll be able to search an address for various years to see how the property developed and changed.

The Indiana Room at La Porte County Public Library’s Main Library has the maps on microfilm for the city of La Porte and the LaCrosse community  in our county. The microfilm is alphabetical by town. It starts with Kokomo and then goes to La Porte and ends with LaCrosse. The La Porte maps are from the years 1886, 1890, 1895, 1901, 1907, 1912, 1919, 1928, 1928-1938, and 1928-1948. The LaCrosse maps are from 1915 and 1931.

If you would like to see the paper version of the maps visit the La Porte County Historical Society Museum. The museum also has maps of Michigan City from 1884, 1889, 1899, 1905, 1912, 1922, 1929, and 1936.  The paper maps show color which is sometimes helpful and also beautiful—-if you think of maps as works of art.

Michigan City Public Library has the microfilm of Michigan City maps from 1884-1948. It also has paper maps of La Porte from 1907 and Michigan City from 1884.

The Indiana State Library also has microfilm of these maps as well as maps from many other Indiana towns.