This is the first edition of Chace's survey of Rockingham County drawn from actual surveys at a large scale to permit labeling individual homes, stores, factories and other locations of note. Surrounding the perimeter of the map and joined by decorative bands are 13 pictorial vignettes and two tables. There is a large inset map of Portsmouth City (18 ½" x 12") that includes the Kittery Navy Yard and a large inset map of Exeter Village (15 ½" x 10 ¼") as well as smaller inset maps of each town center in Rockingham County. The town borders are outlined in color and each town is in a contrasting color. There is a table of distances and a Portsmouth City Directory that includes the U.S. Navy based there. Off shore the Isle of Shoals are shown, as is the Kittery (Maine) Naval Yard. Altogether, this is a visually complex and information rich map of Rockingham County, New Hampshire at mid-19th century.
The pictorial vignettes illustrate Rockingham County's important schools, including Phillips Academy at Exeter. There are views of the Exeter Court House and Town Hall. Governor Weare's Monument is shown with admirers at its foot and nearby Rockingham Academy. The resort destinations are shown as well, including Ocean House at Rye Beach with a scene of the U.S. flag being either taken down or raised on the hotel roof, a line of soldiers standing at attention and visitors on horseback crisscrossing the grounds. The Atlantic House and the Cottage Boarding House at Rye Beach are shown, where a woman riding sidesaddle on a rearing horse, strolling guests and a roof top flag blowing in the breeze portray an active vacation scene. A scene of typical city life shows a team of oxen pulling a wagon laden with wooden barrels past the formal home of Aaron Coffin, who may be the figure sitting in top hat on the porch. Industry is represented by a vignette of the Swamscot Machine and South New Market Iron Foundry Cos. Buildings in a bird's eye view from across the Exeter River. The city doctor's residence of William Merrill, M.D. is pictured. Railroads serving the county in 1857 are drawn, the Boston and Main and the Portsmouth and Concord Rail Roads.
This 1857 wall map of Rockingham County from actual surveys offered a contemporary viewer a pictorial directory. Today this wall map is a historically rich document and a work of art.