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AUCTION 20

Leaden Dreams

64. [MAP]. MISSOURI IRON COMPANY. Missouri City. Moore’s Lithography - Boston. Prospectus. Missouri City is situated on a beautiful plane [sic], at the base of the celebrated Iron Mountains, 90 miles south of St. Louis and 40 west of the Mississippi River...J. L. Van Doren, Henry Pease, Proprietors. [inset railroad map of east central Missouri locating Missouri City, with parts of Illinois and Kentucky] State of Missouri. With her Chartered & Contemplated Rail Roads [inset at upper right] Works of the Missouri Iron Co. Boston, n.d. [ca. 1836-1837?]. Lithograph city plan on bank note paper. Neat line to neat line: 55.8 x 90.1 cm. Creased where formerly folded, browning and minor loss of image along two folds, minor edge chipping (not affecting image), professionally strengthened on verso.

     First printing. Miles & Reese, Creating America 77. This historic urban plan depicts a projected city at or near the present site of Iron Mountain, St. Francois County, Missouri (not Missouri City in Clay County, Missouri). This plan shows one of two communities projected by the Missouri Iron Company. This image shows the town planned for the upper classes and for management, including many of the amenities they would require, such as parks, numerous churches, social institutions (insane asylum, schools for the deaf and blind), medical college, library, divinity school, official buildings, etc. Specifically excluded, according to the legend will be such things as bars, gambling establishments, houses of prostitution, slaughter houses, tanneries, soap factories, etc. On the other hand, the sister city, which was to be named Iron Mountain City and for which the Company also issued a prospective view, was intended for the working class and apparently permitted such institutions as dram shops. Shown at the lower right is small steam train running along the route of the Iron Mountain & Mississippi Rail Road.

     As with so many such paper cities through the years, nothing ever became of this one, although the large mountain composed of nearly solid lead ore in the vicinity (shown at upper right in birds-eye view) was eventually mined successfully by a succession of companies. The deposit was so large and pure that in the early stage of its history it was considered a mineralogical joke on the East coast. According to Tooley, lithographer Thomas Moore worked in Boston around this time. ($3,000-5,000)

Sold. Hammer: $3,000.00; Price Realized: $3,525.00

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