1905 Walker View of the Joy Line: Boston, Cape Cod, New York

This is a rare 1905 chromolithographed bird's-eye view of Cape Cod, New York, and Long Island. The map was issued by George H. Walker to promote the Joy Line. The Joy Line was a regular steamship ferry service connecting Boston, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; and New York, New York.

The birds-eye view looks to west from above Massachusetts Bay, with New York City and Long Island appearing in the distance. Cape Cod’s iconic arm configuration is depicted prominently in the foreground, with Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket just to the south. On Long Island, Montauk and Greenport are noted. Along the Connecticut coast, Stonington, New London, New Haven, and Bridgeport are all noted. In the distance the Statues of Liberty and New York City are visible. The Joy Line Dock, Pier 35, is noted in red, as is the route of the Joy line through the Long Island Sound, Vineyard Sound, and around Cape Cod, to Boston. 

In the upper left, there is a small inset map of New York City, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. The Joy Line’s route appears as a thin red line snaking through the East River, ending at Pier 35, just under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Walker issued a number of views of the Boston area, but this view, with its peculiar birds-eye orientation, is unusual. The map is also very scarce. There are only two other examples of this map in special collections, one in the archives at the Library of Congress and another at in the Osher Map Library.


This map is in very good condition. The color is really bright and and printing detailed, with no signs of fading. Original fold lines run horizontally and vertically, but paper is healthy with no splitting. The publisher’s line “Geo. H. Walker & Co., Lith. Boston” is printed in lower left and title and date and copyright “Birds Eye View of Mass., R.I. & Conn/ Copyright 1905 by Joy Steamship Co.” is printed in the lower right corner.

Map is artfully and archivally framed with acid-free double mats, a brushed gold spandrel, and a custom-built wooden frame. Framed dimensions: 26 1/2” H x 33” W x 2” D.

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