Our house was built in 1909. The little house next door was also built in 1909, built for the owners to live in while they built our house. Like many homes in Portland, the corner house on the block is the oldest house in the neighborhood, with smaller parcels more modern where the land had been divided or somehow separated. The land is often separated without having been surveyed and property borders are passed down by word of mouth.
As the third owners of this beautiful Victorian/Arts and Crafts home, we were told the property separating our home from the little house in back was located in a certain spot. We built a little courtyard; Doug putting down pavers as a walkway. We planted a little garden along side the driveway. In other words, we created our home with boundaries as we were told. As you can see, the little house is very close to our garage.
A few years ago the little house was bought by a woman who wanted to know exactly where the boundaries were located. She had come to believe her property took up a good 15 feet into our yard, cutting through part of our garage. A couple times a year she would mention the property line, but never did anything to find out the truth. I finally got tired of the whole thing and found a company to do a survey of our property.
What an interesting project. Apparently there had never been any survey monuments put along the entire property. So starting with the corner, where the only monument was found, the surveyors measured and compared. They even had to go a full block away to find monuments to help create the boundaries of our property.
On Memorial Day, Doug and I removed all of our plants and pavers from her property, getting the yard ready for a fence. We are working with a landscaper to help us find places in our large-but-shady yard for many of the plants.
At first, both Doug and I had to go through a bit of "grieving" at the loss of what we thought was our land. But then we just shrugged and went to work. As we plan the yard (we like it to look more natural rather than planned), we are excited about the changes. And the project continues.
|Our sentinels to the south|