By Eleanor Phillips Brackbill
When Eleanor Phillips Brackbill got her suburban Westchester apartment in 2000, 3 mysteries got here with it. First, from the previous proprietor, got here the data that the Nineteen Thirties condo used to be “a Sears apartment or whatever like that.” overjoyed to imagine it'd be a Sears, Roebuck & Co. mail-order apartment, Brackbill was resolute to discover proof to turn out it. She stumbled on in its place a home pedigree of a special sort.
Second, or even extra provocative, was once the invention of numerous iron stakes sticking out from the property’s huge, immense granite outcropping, larger in sq. photos than the home itself. while queried approximately them, the previous proprietor informed her, “Someone many years in the past stored monkeys there, chained to the stakes.” Monkeys? used to be this a few form of suburban legend?
A 3rd secret got here to gentle at remaining, while a construction inspector’s letter contained a connection with the home having had, at one time, a distinct handle. Why might the home have had one other tackle? Her interest aroused, and reason upon discovering the proof, Brackbill steadily peeled again layers of background, permitting the home and the land to inform their tales, and uncovering a previous inextricably woven into 4 centuries of yankee historical past. whilst, she chanced on thirty-two vendors, throughout 350 years, who had only one factor in universal: possession of a selected parcel of land.
An unusual Cape not just tells the tale of an eight-year odyssey of fact-finding and hypothesis but in addition solutions the wider query: “What got here before?” and, via fabric offered in twenty-two sidebars, deals readers insights and directions on how to define the tales in the back of their very own homes.
Eleanor Phillips Brackbill is former Curator of schooling on the Neuberger Museum of artwork, buy College–SUNY.
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Extra info for An Uncommon Cape: Researching the Histories and Mysteries of a Property
An Uncommon Cape: Researching the Histories and Mysteries of a Property by Eleanor Phillips Brackbill