By Eleanor Phillips Brackbill
When Eleanor Phillips Brackbill received her suburban Westchester residence in 2000, 3 mysteries got here with it. First, from the previous proprietor, got here the knowledge that the Nineteen Thirties residence was once “a Sears condo or anything like that.” overjoyed to imagine it would be a Sears, Roebuck & Co. mail-order condominium, Brackbill was resolute to discover proof to turn out it. She chanced on as an alternative a home pedigree of a unique sort.
Second, or even extra provocative, used to be the invention of numerous iron stakes sticking out from the property’s huge, immense granite outcropping, higher in sq. pictures than the home itself. whilst queried approximately them, the previous proprietor instructed her, “Someone many years in the past stored monkeys there, chained to the stakes.” Monkeys? was once this a few form of suburban legend?
A 3rd secret got here to gentle at remaining, whilst a development inspector’s letter contained a connection with the home having had, at one time, a unique deal with. Why might the home have had one other tackle? Her interest aroused, and purpose upon discovering the evidence, Brackbill progressively peeled again layers of historical past, permitting the home and the land to inform their tales, and uncovering a previous inextricably woven into 4 centuries of yankee heritage. while, she came upon thirty-two proprietors, 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, bargains readers insights and instructions 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 resources 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
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