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Saratoga Springs, 1976, 1926 A Map by John Held, Jr, who wishes he had never started the idea

2013-12-19 15.28.18-Held-SS_Map.jpg

Dublin Core


Saratoga Springs, 1976, 1926 A Map by John Held, Jr, who wishes he had never started the idea


Published by Charlie Spring



Map Item Type Metadata

Creator - Individual

Held Jr., John

Date Depicted (Display)



"Top of Map: 'One of the charms of a map like this is that nothing is anywhere.'"
"Top right side of Map: 'The scale is nobody's business; near correct.'"
"Middle right of Map: 'There is a difference of opinion as to where north is- not that it matters.' 'This locality has something to do with horses.'"
"Middle of Map: 'Mayor Knapp, Walker's Saratoga Rival- A Great help with this map.'"

Abstract (& Historical Note)

John Held Jr., a well-known Connecticut illustrator originally drew this lively mental map of Saratoga Springs in 1926. In 1976, "Charlie Springs" (a suspiciously apt name) published it. Hence the dual chronology: although this version is from the 1970s, its content is 50 years older.

Held Jr.’s map offers an amusing (lack of) geography of the Spa City, bottling its essence in three main themes: humor, geography, and history. Not all humor seems funny today; Held reveals his racism in the alcohol bottles littering the map that are labeled “Indian Relic[s].”

Held plays with mapping conventions, offering a useless scale and track marks for made-up railroads. Also, “Unexplored,” “Unknown Regions,” and “Unknown Parts” describe spaces beyond the city center. Such labeling of “terra incognita” was common in the age when mapmakers collected information from intrepid travelers to fill in the blanks on their world maps. Here, however, Held hints that tourists might not leave downtown, winking at fellow visitors.


Saratoga County Historian's Office (Saratoga County, N.Y.)
Saratoga Room, Saratoga Springs Public Library




Manuscript maps
Mental maps
Pictorial maps


Discovery and Exploration
Travel and Tourism
Manuscript Maps

Subject - Details

High Rock Spring (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Saratoga Racecourse (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Saratoga Springs (N.Y.)--Maps
Canfield Casino (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Grand Union Hotel (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
United States Hotel (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
N.Y. State Reservation (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Saraspa Manor (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Oklahoma Race Course (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Saratoga Golf Club (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Polo Field (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Frank's Barber Shop (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
McGregor Golf Club (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Woodlawn Park (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Compass Rose
Saratoga Battlefield (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Bathing Beach (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Convention Hall (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
City Casino (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Washington Baths (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Lincoln Baths (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Yearling Sales Ring (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
N.Y. State Drink Hall (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)

Subject - Geographic

Saratoga (N.Y.)
Saratoga Lake (N.Y. : Lake)
Saratoga Springs (N.Y.)
Lake Lonely (N.Y. : Lake)

Subject - Name

Knapp, Clarence H. Mayor of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 1924-1927
Vanderbilt, W. K. (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
Washington, George. First President of the United States.


Charlie Springs

Place of Publication

[Saratoga Springs]

Physical Dimensions

14 x 19 ''
35.6 x 48.3 cm.



Record Creation Date



“Saratoga Springs, 1976, 1926 A Map by John Held, Jr, who wishes he had never started the idea,” Skidmore Saratoga Memory Project, accessed July 21, 2024,

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