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Cartography takes center stage

Rare historical maps on display at two historical Colonie locations

The “Rare Historic Colonial Maps Exhibit” will run through May 5 at both the Pruyn House, at 207 Old Niskayuna Road in Latham, and King’s Place, at 27 North Swan St. in Albany. Admission is free. There will be an official opening for the exhibit at the Pruyn House on Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m.

The “Rare Historic Colonial Maps Exhibit” will run through May 5 at both the Pruyn House, at 207 Old Niskayuna Road in Latham, and King’s Place, at 27 North Swan St. in Albany. Admission is free. There will be an official opening for the exhibit at the Pruyn House on Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m. Photo by Zan Strumfeld.

— “It was never built simply because (the Americans) conquered Fort Ticonderoga,” Patten said. “This beautiful plan was never built.”

The 25 maps at the Pruyn House are distributed throughout the upstairs across several bedrooms. Patten said he plans to give tours to the public so they can further understand the meanings of the maps.

“There is a lot of history that occurred right here in New York state,” Patten said. “It’s important because it’s a part of our historical heritage. If we don’t (study it), it’ll be forgotten.”

The maps themselves are works of art. Although the maps from Patten’s collections are copies, the originals were all hand painted, often with 10 people working on each map.

“A special group of people hand painted these … water coloring the shoreline. One would be in charge of lakes, rivers. There was a massive industry in putting a map together,” Patten said.

Maps were important during this time for the kings in France and England to see what was going on in their new territories, Patten said.

“These maps are so accurate,” Brankman said. “We think of today just to pick up a GPS and it’s accurate. But back in 1750, there was no way that was going to be done. But these mapmakers have made these maps that even today are incredibly accurate. It really shows they’re works of art.”

The “Rare Historic Colonial Maps Exhibit” will run through May 5 at both the Pruyn House, at 207 Old Niskayuna Road in Latham, and King’s Place, at 27 North Swan St. in Albany. Admission is free. There will be an official opening for the exhibit at the Pruyn House on Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m. For more information on the exhibit and tours, contact the Pruyn House at 783-1435.

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