EUGENE, Ore. – If history teaches anything, it’s that change is a constant. With the popularity of computer maps and GPS units, some may have forgotten that directions were once on paper; but here at the Lane County Historical Museum, a new display traces the region’s colorful past, one map at a time.
The museum’s collection contains over 400 maps of Eugene and the surrounding area, but usually they’re available for viewing only by appointment. That’s because of the tricky nature of displaying such old documents and the damage that could be done by leaving them in the open.
For the next week and a half, the curators have chosen the most interesting maps and posted them for public display. They include two maps like a 30-sq-ft display of Lane County around 1900.
There are also maps of Eugene, Springfield, Florence and other towns; some going back 150 years.
Bob Hart, the museum’s executive director, says the maps are a graphic representation of progress or at least change.
“Of course depending on how tightly the time frame you’re looking at, you may see very dramatic change or slow change,” Hart said.
Hart says the exhibit was extended a week because of the high attendance on the first day.
The exhibit runs through October 5 and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.