Historians will always need to visit archives and libraries, although it is truly amazing how much information is available in digital form.

A few months ago, I was looking at a Sedgwick County mapping database and was surprised when a search for material on Delano turned up a document for the community of Elgin, platted in early 1871. A quick search turned up an almost identical plat for the community of Delano a few months later. Clearly, one replaced the other.

Wikimedia Commons

California’s San Andreas fault is slowly shifting LA away from the mainland. But we don’t have to look to the future to imagine a disjointed coastline. Instead we can look to the past, to the maps of the 17th and 18th centuries that share a strange discrepancy: the inclusion of the Island of California.