Survey Archives

The Surveyor’s Office holds an archive of survey records, maps, and recorded plats dating back to 1847.

U.S. Public Land Survey Records

The original survey of the land in Washington County was performed by U.S. Deputy Surveyors in 1847. Township lines were established at six-mile intervals; after which, each township was divided into one-mile squares making 36 sections. Wood posts were set to visibly mark the section corners, and maps were drawn at the Surveyor General’s Office in Dubuque, Iowa. Copies of the original field notes and township plats are available.
Original plats and field notes.

Survey Record Books and Field Books

Washington County survey records begin in 1847 with Harvey Wilson, District Surveyor for St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.

Field Book A 1847-1866 H. Wilson, A. Greeley, A. Van Vorhes
Field Books 1 thru 11 1893-1930 Joseph M. Oldham
Field Book 12 1916 Stillwater Line (street car)
Field Book 13 1916-1921 Mahtomedi-White Bear Line

Road Book 1 1847-1857 Road alignments Minnesota Territory
Road Book 2 1858-1867 Road alignments - early Minnesota

Record Book 1 1869-1941 Van Vorhes, Shepard, Oldham, Clarke
Record Book 2 1942-1947 L. Norton Clarke
Record Book 3 1947-1952 L. Norton Clarke

NAD27 Worksheets

Section Worksheets on the outdated North American Datum of 1927 are legacy working drawings for survey control. Each worksheet shows 2 sections with section corners, coordinate values, monument type, section lines, government lots, survey control and a variety of evidence locations. Get NAD27 Worksheets.

Recorded Plats

The first subdivision plats in Washington County were recorded in 1848. Subdivision Plats and Registered Land Surveys are available to view at our service counter. Copies are $5 per sheet.

Common Interest Community plats, known as CIC plats, include condominiums, planned communities, and cooperatives. Copies of CIC plats are available only from the County Recorder.

Certified copies of plats, CIC's and Registered Land Surveys are available from the County Recorder.

The County Recorder also offers a subscription service on the web.

Right-of-Way Plats

Washington County Highway Right-of-Way Plats are on file beginning with Plat No. 1 recorded in 1970.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation Right-of-Way Plats are on file beginning with Plat No. 1 recorded in 1972.

Minnesota Highway Department roll maps (Circa 1920-1970) are on file for most state highways in Washington County.

MnDOT R/W maps on the web: MnDOT R/W Maps

Note: R/W plat numbers can be found on parcel maps.

Railroad Maps

Railroad right-of-way and track maps, both active and abandoned, are on file for viewing. Most of these are old roll maps. Due to their fragile condition, copies are not available.

Street car maps between White Bear Lake, Mahtomedi, and Stillwater are also available. (Roll maps in fragile condition)

MnDOT has certain railroad maps on the web: MnDOT R/W Maps

Certificates of Survey

The County Surveyor maintains a record of each survey of land that is filed by a licensed land surveyor. These land surveys are available for public view during office hours.

New: Certificates of Survey are mapped as a data layer on the Data Map.

Copyright laws apply. Only those surveys made before March 1, 1989 can be photocopied. All other surveys are copyright protected.

Land Atlas and Plat Book

A Washington County land atlas and plat book typically contains township maps showing land ownership (farms), with acres and the owner's name. In time, a plat book becomes a historic record of land information. The older plat books often include civic information, commerce information, and local advertising. Copyright laws apply.

The collection includes:
1887 C.M. Foote & Co.
1901 Northwest Publishing Co.
1912 Webb Publishing Co.
1926 Hudson Map Co.
1938 Hudson Map Co.
1949 The Atlas Company
1956 Thomas O. Nelson Co.
1961 Rockford Map Publishers, Inc.
1966 Rockford Map Publishers, Inc.
1969 Rockford Map Publishers, Inc.
1973 Rockford Map Publishers, Inc.
1976 Rockford Map Publishers, Inc.
1979 Rockford Map Publishers, Inc.
1982 Rockford Map Publishers, Inc.
1986 Rockford Map Publishers, Inc.
1988 Accurate Publishing & Printing, Inc.
1992 Accurate Publishing & Printing, Inc.
1997 Cloud Cartographics, Inc.
2004 Cloud Cartographics, Inc.
2009 Washington County Survey & Land Mgmt.
2012 Washington County Survey & Land Mgmt.
Help us enhance our collection of plat books.
If you have an older Washington County Plat Book or Land Atlas, please consider donating it to our collection. It will be preserved forever.