Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Past

The results of my request for the records from the National Archives arrived yesterday.

I had asked them to send me all materials they had in connection with the original transfer of ownership from the US Government (Fort Snelling) to the first owner of the land where StuccoHouse now sits.

They sent me copies of 9 documents. The copies are not of the best quality. There are two documents that I found particularly intereting.

First, the original receipt for payment of the land 156+ acres for $196.50. $1.25/acre. Sadly, I can't even get a latte today for that amount.

Secondly, there is a handwritten letter from a friend of the original owner. It appears to be written to assure the government that the purpose of the purchase of the land was not to immediately "flip" it for profit. Some things never change, huh?

At any rate, the letter is quite interesting in that it gives some details about the original houses built on the property. A 12x14 log cabin was the first house. This was later replaced by a 12x16 house with "...floor of boards, nailed on sleepers, two patterned doors, and three windows with sash of glass & each containing , I believe, 12 panes of glass...." The original plot of land was quite large, so these buildings were most likely not on my property, but it is interesting to know they were somewhere nearby.

Of course, this is way before StuccoHouse was even a glimmer in anyone's eye. It would take another 68 years for the bungalow to be built.


Jennifer said...

Very cool!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. There must have been a standard legal wording for this sort of affidavit, because the document for my property in SW Minneapolis, dated about a month before yours, reads very similarly.

Thanks for sharing this fascinating history.

Jenni said...

Neat! I love finding out the history behind a house.

StuccoHouse said...

It is kind of fun making these discoveries. Anonymous, if you are the same one that posted earlier about how to find this stuff, gain, many thanks!

Mike said...

Sweet! I'm just starting renovations on my own Minneapolis bungalow. I'm super curious about the history of my house, any tips on where to start?

StuccoHouse said...

Mike - Take a look under the "history" label on the side of the main page of my blog and look for a post entitled "Building Permit" (or something similar). It will tell you how to locate your original building permit in Minneapolis. Also, do you belong to the Twin Cities Bungalow Club? If not, that is also a good place to start.

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