Fonds F521 - The Cummins Map Company fonds

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The Cummins Map Company fonds

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  • 1917-1930 (Creation)

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Physical description

ca. 1,230 maps
4 reels of microfilm

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Administrative history

The O.F. Cummins Map Company was established around 1917 in Regina, Saskatchewan. The company's office was located at 12-2350 12th Avenue (Co-operative Elevator Building). The president of the company, Oliver Francis Coumans, was an engineer and land surveyor. He changed his surname to Cummins around 1917, after which the company was known as the Cummins Map Company. Melville S. Arneil, a draftsman, was vice-president and manager. In 1918, Cummins moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he initially operated a branch office of the company out of his home. The Winnipeg office was later located at 904-457 Main Street and 404-160 Princess Street. Arneil maintained the Regina office until around 1920, when he closed that office and moved to Winnipeg. In 1923, Cummins moved to Toronto, Ontario, followed by Arneil in 1924. The company office was located at 70 Lombard Street. Cummins was involved in other work after 1927 but Arneil continued to manage the company until it ceased to operate in the early 1940s.

The main product of the Cummins Map Company was a series of landowner maps, known as the Cummins Rural Directory Maps, for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. The rural directory maps contained the names and locations of post offices, the location of local rail lines and the names of the owners of each parcel of land within the area covered. The maps were issued as collections of single map sheets instead of being bound in book form as many of the atlases were at the time. The maps were often used by local merchants and traveling salesmen to find customers as well as to assist travellers to find their way across unfamiliar and often unmarked land. The Saskatchewan map series were produced in 1917/1918 (covering most of the settled areas of the province); 1920; 1922; 1926 (covering eastern Saskatchewan) and 1930 (covering north-central Saskatchewan). An uniform sheet numbering system was used and maintained in all series.

Some of the other products produced by the Cummins Map Company included an atlas of Prince Edward Island and Cummins Crop Yield Maps, which indicated the crop yields of the prairie provinces using a "good, fair and poor" rating system. The company also advertised their mounting and drafting services.

Custodial history

One reel of microfilm containing the 1917/18 Saskatchewan Land Map Series was purchased from the Archives of Manitoba in 1984 and assigned accession number R84-448 (October 31, 1984). Ross Taylor donated one sheet from the 1917/18 map series to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1985: R85-543 (August 1, 1985). The Saskatoon Public Library, Local History Room donated some of the maps to the Saskatoon office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1990: S90-84 (December 19, 1990). One photocopied 1917/18 map was donated to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1990: R90-131 (May 23, 1990).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of land ownership maps produced by the Cummins Map Company. Included are the Coumans Saskatchewan Land Map Series dated 1917/1918; the Cummins Rural Directory Maps for 1920, 1922, 1926 and 1930 and indexes to the maps.

The Cummins Map Company used and maintained an uniform sheet numbering system in all series. Some of the original sheets are not available, as follows: 1917 (nos. 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 20, 21, 22, 23, 38, 59, 60) 1920 (nos. 104, 147, 189, 227, 242, 246, 258 to 263) 1922 (nos. 1, 16, 189, 210, 227, 242, 261 to 263) 1926 (nos. 9 to 16; 29 to 38; 51 to 60; 73 to 82; 95 to 104; 116 to 125; 138 to 141; 143, 145, 146, 158 to 162; 164 to 167; 179 to 183; 185 to 189; 200 to 209; 217, 218, 220 to 227; 236 to 242; 250) 1930 (nos. 127 to 129; 137, 142, 144, 147, 149, 150, 171, 184, 192, 219, 227, 233 to 235; 242, 246, 249, 259 to 264). The microfilm of the 1917/18 Saskatchewan Land Map Series is missing sheet numbers 4, 38, 69 to 74. Many sheets are missing from the microfilm containing the Cummins Rural Directory Maps.

No series have been identified in this fonds.

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Numerical order maintained.

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Availability of other formats

A microfilm copy is available of some of the records in this fonds.

Restrictions on access

Records are open for research use.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records is subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Finding aids

SAFA 393 consists of a fonds level description only and is available in paper format. Reference copies of the indexes and the Cummins Rural Directory Maps for 1920, 1922, 1926 and 1930 are available in the Regina and Saskatoon offices.

Associated materials

Related material: R-E2060: Article entitled "Oliver F. Cummins' Directory Maps: Canada's 20th Century "County Atlases" by Eric Jonasson in Canadian Genealogist, 1981. R-E3264: "Index of Names Located on Cummins Rural Directory Map, 1922 Issue of the Regina Area in Saskatchewan" compiled by Mona Morrow. Original copies of 129 of the 1926 Cummins Rural Directory maps bound in hard cover are located in the Joseph D. Porter fonds (2007-218).

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

Alpha-numeric designations

Other codes: Microfilm: R-2.915 and S-1.120; Maps: A 3/1 to A 3/5; B543 (1 to 68)

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