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Wednesday, 13 August 2008 01:59

Two “Priceless” Amador County Maps Restored

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slide20.pngTwo “priceless” maps of Amador County in its infancy were presented before the Board of Supervisors at their Tuesday morning meeting. The separate but equally interesting histories of both the maps and how Amador County had been fortunate enough to obtain them were outlined in a joint presentation by County Clerk Sheldon Johnson and Amador County Museum Curator Georgia Fox. One map dating back to 1904 was discovered in a safe at the County Clerk’s office where it had been sitting untouched for decades. Johnson explained that the map was wrapped in brown butcher paper, and besides some natural discoloration, was in excellent condition. According to Fox, a second map dated 1866 was a gift from Darlene and Bill Duncan, who had been given the map by a friend and were told to “find a good home for it.” Amador County was fortunate to receive the map, as it could just have easily been sent to a larger and more prestigious museum, said Johnson.

During Darlene Duncan’s turn at the podium, she became visibly emotional when she recalled her mother, who was instrumental in insuring the map returned to its proper home. Perhaps as interesting as the story of the journey of these historic documents is there preservation process. Both maps were sent to the Joseph J. Marotti Company, a conservation laboratory in Milton, Vermont. They were then treated and repaired during a painstaking 50-hour restoration process. Each map was ultrasonically humidified and “decidified” in order to “preserve the maps for the next 500 years” said a Marotti Company representative. Supervisor Forster presented the Duncans with a plaque as a token of thanks for their generous contribution. Supervisor Escamilla slyly remarked that he had plenty of space for one of the maps on his office wall, to which Supervisor Forster jokingly replied, “Sir, you’re out of order.” Both maps will soon be available for public viewing at the Amador County Museum.

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