Inforum did a follow-up article on the vicissitudes of Orlando Ferguson’s Square and Stationary Earth map and our supersweet comments thread gets a mention as the place where Jeff and Jeannie, each owners of a copy of Ferguson’s map bringing the known total up to four, first found out about each other.
One map owner is Jeff Speaect of Pierre, S.D. In the mid-to-late 1990s, Speaect, a stamp collector, found the map.
Speaect grew up in Oral, S.D., just outside of Hot Springs where the map published by Orlando Ferguson in 1893 originated.
“I found (the map) in an old trunk of my grandparents’,, in a barn,” he said. “I took it to my grandmother, but she had no recollection of it. There are a couple holes in it, but I had it matted and framed, and it’s been on my wall ever since.”
After hearing about Homuth’s article from his father, Speaect then emailed Robert Morris, senior technical information specialist in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, about his map – and then Speaect got in touch with Homuth.
On the side, via a thread discussing Homuth’s map on the The History Blog, Speaect found another “Map of the Square and Stationary Earth” owner – Jeanie Keyser of Hanford, Calif.
It’s fascinating to see the separate lines of interest all coming together, with the cherry on top being the connection between Jeanie’s family and Jeff’s upbringing (Oral, South Dakota, near Hot Springs, is Jeff’s hometown and was named after Jeanie’s grandfather). Many “small world” headlines ensued.
The Grand Forks Herald is carrying the story too. We made the local news and we didn’t even have to commit a deplorable crime or teach a dog to walk on its hind legs to do it.