This entry was originally written by Arleigh P. Helfer, Jr. and Carol L. Maki for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
A John Farmer 1855 Wayne County plat map was the first Michigan map to show land ownership. H. F. Wallings’s 1873 atlas for the entire state was reprinted in 1977 by The Bookmark, in Knightstown, Indiana. Many county maps indicating ownership were published as part of the 1876 centennial. Extensive map collections are available at the Library of Michigan and the Burton Historical Collection.
Consult Robert W. Karrow’s Checklist of Printed Maps of the Middle West to 1900 (Chicago: The Newberry Library, n.d.). This fourteen-volume set lists all known pre-1900 plat maps and plat books for eleven states, including Michigan.
The earliest Sanborn map (see page 5) for Michigan is the year 1868 for the community of Lansing.