The Vagaries of Old Maine Deeds

In the last ten years, a maelstrom of improbable events dictated that I buy and sell three different houses. Two were in South Florida, and the third is our current home in Maine. While South Florida has its own (exceedingly plentiful) real estate issues, the property descriptions and deeds are at least relatively straightforward. Parcels are numbered, lots are recorded with a modicum of accuracy, and frankly there’s little confusion over what you actually own.

This is not so in Maine.

We’ve been in this home for the better part of six months, and I’m still completely at a loss as to our property boundaries. The “property description” in my deed contains at least two separate references to “the remains of an old rock wall” as a defining limit.

Not a rock wall, mind you. The remains of a rock wall. In other words, where the rock wall used to be.

Is this it? No, no, this is an actual rock wall.

I was reflecting on this again, today, as I took advantage of the unseasonably warm temperatures to try and find the survey markers yet again. In my wanderings, I found three different rock walls, none of which seemed to have any real bearing on anything (other than being neat).

The great irony, here, is that the boundaries don’t even really matter. I know my neighbors; we all live on a mountain and it’s not like anyone is planning on building a Walmart. But still…

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