Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The history before the house.

In the real estate business, we see title insurance policies every day.

Webster's defines title insurance as "insurance against loss due to an unknown defect in a title or interest in real estate."

What we don't see every day are Abstracts of Title.

And they are so cool.

Webster says these are "a summary statement of the successive conveyances and other facts on which a title to a piece of land rests."

Basically, its the condensed ownership history of the property. 

Today I found the Abstract for the Perry house. It starts in 1871 and there was certianly no house there. The original property consisted of just under 170 acres. Eventually, it would be sold and subdivided into what is now Riverside.
The first entries on the abstract show that the land was owned by a woman.  A widow.  Amazing considering the year was 1871.    Ulysses S. Grant was the President of the United States.  He's mentioned in the Abstract too.

Other women owned the property over the years as well.  Many of them were single women.  It's impressive, really.  And it makes me smile. 

Especially knowing that this little house that I'm fixing up was built by a woman. 

A widow. 

A single mother with three boys. 

And she did it all during the Depression while she was running her family farm.

Over the years, I've learned that both of my grandmothers were dealt tough hands when they were young mothers.  They were both incredibly strong women.  Maybe because of it, maybe in spite of it.

I know that I was named after both of them and that makes me very proud to be their granddaughter.

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