from our 1999 list

     We have prepared this list with details on the number, saize, and key features to identify any map that we have issued.  Information on the size of printing can be incuded as many are long out of print and serve after almost 50 years to be a record of our efforts. Some maps, such as the Summet and East Eagle, have now seen massive changes.  Our efforts in publishing have included many articles since this list was prepared.
    Since our term as the founding editor of THE SENTRY, the first student newspaper at University of Colorado in Denver in 1964, we have kept on writing as well as mapping.

  We continue to supply maps that remain in print by mail with a postage surcharge. We do have mailing tubes so that can be ordered through usual methods. Drop us a postcard or letter with the items you are interested in. Our mailing address of P. O. Box 5, Arvada, CO 80001-0005 has been in operation since 1974. 
     You can also ask at:   [email protected]  or [email protected]
     We created this service to provice tourist shops with local Ghost Town maps AND continue to supply stores with them throughout Colorado.

  Art as part of Rusty's Maps- history

      Rusty's Maps did not develop in a vacuum as it began with the publication of 5 maps in the first year of it's existence (1969) . This was a part time project as well as a business- publishing. Its founder, cartographer, and illustrator was Russell “Rusty” Morse. At that point he was recently hired as an investigating caseworker in Child Welfare for Adams County, Colorado. He began that career of 16 years after being medically retired, due to a neck injury, from the United States Marine Corps on October 10, 1968. In November he was hired to investigate complaints as a caseworker for what was to become Social Services.
    The map business developed as he was fascinated by Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Districts and actually owned a couple of mining claims. He and his wife Doris would go to one of their claims in Clear Creek County where he had a campfire site built in his college years that allowed them a personal and private spot to host small groups for a social outing in the woods.
    The history and atmosphere of the area led to the recognition that folks who liked the Ghost Town history had no real source of inexpensive maps other that a few “Ghost Town” guides. His publishing background from his days at CU Denver had given him an understanding of how to create an print a map that could answer this need and also be an inexpensive product that could be sold at various places to tourists. Locals would also be fond of having a historic document that they could use.
Art Background
    The line-drawn art added to the Rusty's Maps reflects a history of his interests in art developed as a youth when his mother painted landscapes and sent him to the Omaha Joslyn Museum for Art History classes. Later he explored the National Museum of Art in Washington, D.C. while stationed nearby with his time in the U.S. Marines. The use of art as an element of map design became part of his drafting. Formal classes in high school and a semester of drafting at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at new London, Connecticut allowed him to quickly master cartography.
The start of mapping.
    Thus he began to sit down and draft a map that would fit on a standard 17 ½ x 22 inch sheet of paper that could be cheaply printed and then wholesaled to local merchants for a modest sum to fill the need. In addition to the Front Range in Colorado, he had worked for a Summer in Silverton after college so he knew the Narrow Gauge country of the San Juan Mountains would be market for his maps.
    As he began his second year in 1970 he started with the February publication of a map to aid the efforts of the drive to create what became the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Reading of the efforts to get the legislators in Colorado and New Mexico to authorize the creation of a Scenic Railroad between the states to use the narrow gauge lines that the Denver And Rio Grande Railroad was planning to abandon between Antinito, Colorado and Durango.
   Rusty contacted the Colorado legislators and proposed that he create and publish a map that could be given to each legislator in Colorado ahead of the vote to allow them to see the project to save the railroad as far as Cumbres, New Mexico. 500 maps were produced in white for the legislators and an additional 1000 would be printed for resale by Rusty's Maps. The backers jumped at the chance and this was fulfilled on February 20, 1970 with information gathered for the map being quickly supplied for its production. This map was reproduced at the time in a reduced form in the Colorado Springs daily paper along with a photo taken of Rusty with the State Senator and Representatives at the Capitol.
     Several other publications were added that year. Reprints were added to the map list by reprinted old atlas plates found in antique stores. This was based on the success of a test in 1970 when he had reproduced an 1887 atlas plate to add to what a dealer could sell-
A Gold Mining Methods poster was drawn in 1970 and became popular for sale along with the maps. This would become on of the most popular items in the growing list of Mining History subjects that were inexpensive items for the tourist trade in the 1970's. In all less that 4000 of these were printed in the early 1970's in several batches. The Gold Mining methods poster actually attracted other western markets to sell it out of Colorado and after multiple re-printings is planned to be reissued for the 50th Anniversary celebrations in February 2019.
     In early 1971 he took on a joint partnership with another couple to publish an Official Commemorative poster for the National Western Stock Show in January. Rusty drew a line-drawn poster and the couples manned a booth to sell other items, as well as maps, during the 10 days of the show. They published posters until 1975 each year.
     As Colorado approached it's Centennial Celebration Rusty added a 23 x 29 inch design as a Centennial Poster to resell along with other maps and posters at the 1993 Stock Show. This large, multi-colored poster became quite popular and a symbol of the event and was the product of line drawn work that would combine images of Colorado's past and present. The majority of its 2000 copies sold out during this time. Less than 5 % remained after the Centennial.
     In 1974 a basic Gold map was published and quickly sold out 2000 copies as Rusty desired to expand the items the local dealers could offer. It became clear that the basic information needed and improvement on the map design so as soon as the printing sold out, Rusty began to work on an idea for a Gold Map that would last over time. In 1976 he started a process to map the full state, with hatchered relief as in early maps. This process lasted until 1980 when the first multi-colored Gold map was published in 1980. It was slightly larger than the 17 ½ x 22 sheet size. When the current, revised edition was first released he printed 5000. It is now in its 2nd printing of 5000 which was produced in 1990 after the first run sold out.
     In the late 1980's he was approached by a bookseller in Gunnison to create a regional map for a bookstore. The research was done by the owner, Jim Houston and the drafting an publishing by Rusty. It was ready to go to the printer within a year and only then did Rusty discover that the research by Houston was based on his career as head Game Warden for the area. It was published in 1991 with a printing of 4000 which was split by the two.
     In 1995 a reprint was made of a large wall map of 1893 that was reduced to the standard size of Southwest Colorado. It was a mining engineer's map that graces the wall of the Durango Museum and a copy was acquired and before its resale a production made to allow its reduced size of 17 ½ by 22 inches. It bears the fox in a miners hard hat logo of Rusty's Maps. It also was among the final prints of the 1900's.