As I mentioned previously, this week I’ve been exploring the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers archive. Last night I came up with the idea that I could create an entirely new blog dedicated to showing news from exactly 100 years ago. Dubbed “The Hundred Year Old News Blog,” each entry would be a newspaper article from exactly 100 years ago and to test the theory, I decided to see what today’s blog entry would have been. To my surprise, I found that the now-defunct newspaper called the San Mateo Item used a map of eastern Florida for it’s masthead.
According to the entry in Chronicling America:
The San Mateo Item began publishing in 1891. F.A. Bailey was one of its early editors. The paper periodically appeared under the title of the Item. It is unknown when the San Mateo Item finally ceased publication, but holdings are reported in the Putnam County Archives for 1913.
San Mateo is located in Putnam County in northeastern Florida. The area sustained various agricultural activities about which the San Mateo Item reported. San Mateo was also well known for its recreational opportunities, having more than a thousand ponds and lakes and approximately one hundred miles of access to the St. Johns River, especially attractive to bass fishermen. Sporting activities were of sufficient note to merit coverage by the British press. The Outing, a London sports magazine, complained in its 1891-92 issue that the Item had reprinted one of its articles without credit. The Outing asserted that its enterprise was dedicated in part to distributing “articles likely to attract the sportsman to Florida.” Apparently, San Mateo was worth watching.
Currently there is not a Wikipedia entry for San Mateo Item newspaper
What is interesting about the map is that its presented in a East to West configuration instead of the modern North to South configuration. Starting from the right side of the map going left, you trace Florida’s longest river, St. Johns River, north towards Jacksonville, and near the middle you have the newspaper’s namesake, San Mateo.
The map shows the following towns, lakes, and railroads (roughly South/Right to North/Left):