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To: muawiyah
I've spent several months off and on using google.com to go back and forth across the country from South to North to find every single city, town, village or abandoned encampment laid out in accordance with the Spanish Law of the Indies.

Do you have a link to the "layout" portion of the laws? I can't find one.

A secret for you ~ there ain't many of them ~ but there's a cluster in Southern Indiana, and maybe even a La Villa Real!

Which ones in Southern Indiana? Would be a good day trip for the child.

14 posted on 03/29/2012 8:45:29 AM PDT by John O (God Save America (Please))
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To: John O; midnightcat
OK, good place to start to find a La Villa Real is Santa Fe New Mexico. That's a royal town. The oldest part of town is not oriented DUE NORTH but more WEST BY NORTHWEST. You can see the original town plaza in the downtown area, and there other plazas that still exist within the grid.

For a variation look at Seymour, Indiana. The oldest part of town (Look at the Shields Park area) is oriented NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

Sometimes in these old railroad towns (this has two railroads cutting through) you may find similar orientation for the grid but that part of Seymour was in place as Mule's Crossing long before the railroad came through. Mule probably means Reindeer in Northern Sa'ami. That area is also called Renno, or Reindeer in Spanish, and due South is a separate similarly laid out area known today as Cowtown.

As is typical with most of the towns between Columbus Indiana and Louisville Kentucky they were established on top of trading locations that were present in French times (1700 to 1754), and probably in the 1500/1600 period by Spanish traders or miners.

The first railroad West of the Alleghenies was built through this region from roughly what is today Madison, Indiana to North Vernon, Indiana. South of Seymour you will find Henryville, recently wiped out in a tornado. It too, is laid out NORTH by Northwest, and the surrounding area of Clark's Grant (George Roger's Clark's reward from Congress) is laid out similarly.

That was a very popular area for settlement right from the beginning since it had been "surveyed' to a greater degree than even KENTUCKY to the South (entered as a state in 1790).

THERE are a number of other places East and West of that area laid out in the same way.

Remember, without roads ~ just horse trails or old Indian paths ~ your town would disappear if folks couldn't find it. That seems to have been what happened to these places. They got laid out. Someone built a small fort or stockade area around the plaza, and traders and miners moved in and out. In 1604 Spain withdrew from much of the East and left the Great Lakes to the French. These older towns languished for another couple of centuries, but the next settlers in left the layouts in place. I"ve found some where they left the curved corners of the stockades in place!

For a number of towns I've found that the first people to come forward and claim a land patent under the new American government had Spanish surnames.

So, how do you search for them? Well, you go to a town ~ e.g. NASHVILLE TN. You move in to where you can see the street patterns. You blow up the map on the screen. You move left or right, as far as you can ~ remembering that the Mississippi was the border between Spain and British North America, or French North America for two centuries! THAT IS A LONG TIME!

Once you get all the way left and right you move NOrth or South 10 miles or so and begin again. Every time you see a town oriented that way, possibly with a still intact plaza, you find out the GPS coordinates and write them down next to the town name.

Then you look for another one.

Now, cockeyed French towns ~ they are NOT Spanish towns but they are oriented to something ~ usually to a nearby river running through downtown. The French always went to a river and gave everybody some frontage and set up very deep lots for farming. That way they could all raise crops and cattle while living in a strip village.

The French disappeared into the American mix. Their town layouts had a different inspiration and are only coincidentally oriented other than straight N/S. In Europe French towns have precise orientations ~ because they could do that having dug wells earlier. In America no one had a well so everyone had to have access to the rivers and streams in the area.

The Spanish were less concerned with water having a cultural standard suitable for arid lands.

Eventually the Spanish disappeared into the mix.

Some Midwestern and Eastern town histories reflect previous Spanish settlement or mining interests. West of the Mississippi that's common.

I have not checked from Kentucky South to the Gulf Coast ~ (with a few exceptions of towns I wanted to look at in Georgia, and lo and behold, there are some obvious Spanish layouts there).

16 posted on 03/29/2012 8:05:22 PM PDT by muawiyah
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