February 14, 2014


Ira Littlefield dwelled on his family's Pleasant Street farmstead for his entire life. While farming kept him well occupied, he also conducted property surveys throughout the central New Hampshire. His timing couldn't have been better. In the early 1900s, farms were bought and subdivided for lakefront cottages at a rapid rate as recreation became the mainstay of the local economy.

Ira's drawings are held at the New Hampshire State Archives in Concord, and because of their significance to New London's past, we have been cataloging portions of the collection. To date, we have seen nearly 300 sheets (field notes, ink drawings, and blueprints) within the towns of New London and Sunapee. Still unexamined are properties in Springfield, Newbury, Sutton, Wilmot, Andover, and points beyond.

As we sift through the boxes, we also photograph any plans that might be of interest to researchers at back our own archives. The images are loaded into our existing library of digitized maps and identified by general location. Using Google Maps, we are also able to graphically locate each property and the GPS coordinates become part of the digital file's metadata. For archivists, this sort of geotagging is a boon. Unlike residents, road names, and street numbers, the GPS coordinates do not change over time, providing future researchers with at least one fixed geographic data point.