I found the quad map dated in the 1920s where my house is located. This is before the road was even there. It shows several seasonal streams that I didn't know existed. It also shows some springs. Really interesting stuff.
USGS is continuously updating their maps. The last set of our state maps were completed in 2009 without USFS land included in the update. Next year new California topo maps are going to include more complete surface water data and they will have completed their update of US Forest Service Lands.
Check out areas where you live. Check out areas where you may want to live. Warning - it's a really slow download but it will download. Just be patient.
The BLM has old documents available too. These include land patents, and my favorites - Government Land Office (GLO) maps and survey notes. Unfortunately the maps and survey notes are not available on line for California. They are available to be purchased for relatively cheap from BLM or you can look at them at university libraries or other such places. http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx#searchTabIndex=0