Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mystery, Suspense ... Oreos!

I’ve read and re-read a single page document dated February 27, 1896. It’s a bill of sale. The terms are vague. A store and all its fixtures are sold together with additions to the structure. It’s an odd document, but not really unusual in contents. It comes from an era when one could own a building but not the land under it.

It is strange for what is omitted. The dollar amount is omitted. I’m not certain why. All it says is that the sale price was paid in cash and notes. My pixie-historian’s sense tells me that there is more here than meets the eye. Lacking further evidence, there is no way to pursue this.

This is a historian’s puzzle. Some of these puzzles cannot be resolved. There may, in fact, be no puzzle at all. I’ve read thousands of words written by the man who crafted this document. He is vague even when appearing to be specific. He dates things to an approximation. He writes of about this year or that. He speaks of things happening near that time or this. He deals in vagueness, and he does it for no apparent reason. So this may be nothing more than additional vagueness.

I don’t think this document covers any great sins. I don’t mean that at all. At least I don’t think I mean that. I feel as if I am missing something here. I wish I knew what it is. I’d post the paper here, but I don’t have permission to publish it on an open blog.

I need an Oreo.

1 comment:

  1. He may have sold the Personal Property, but the Real Property (Unit) was owned by a J. L. Graham. As you know the building has 6 unites (side-by-side facing Federal). Russell’s unit was on the south side of the building (at Federal & Robison). J. L. Graham owned this unit at least from 1872 - 1925 per the plat maps. So it appears that Russell sold all of the goods, but not the structure.