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Who LEGALLY owns the College Square In Cambridge??

This unusual question has a basis in preservation, and will be posted in various parts. This question and supporting documentation was submitted by Rhonda Rusk.


The original query:

I have been doing research on the School in Cambridge. Currently there is a government situation occuring with the property known as College Square. The town and the county have determined that the school does not own the College Square (from 1843 to 1968 a school sat on the property! and has been maintained as a park since 1968).

I am looking for any source that would document that the Trustees of Schools (which I have a record of this group being named) indeed do have the right to the title of the property. Perhaps a historical look at the responsibilities of the Trustees of Schools or something along that lines?

I am also looking for any additional source that would give me a listing of the school's assets that would show this property in the listing.

ANY help/guidance will be greatly appreciated. We have some real time constraints here, as the town has made an intergovernmental agreement with the County and part of this park (the ball field infield) is planned to become parking area!

An update dated 09 Feb 2003:

Not alot has changed. The powers that be say that because no record of the property transfer can be found in the County Clerk's records, that the property is part of the original property transfer to establish Cambridge as the county seat--therefore the property belongs to the county. People have told me that it is still not a done deal, but I am feeling like I have done all I could. I researched all I knew how and then some! The school board voted to turn over any interest/ownership they may possibly have to the village last March, so now neither the county or the village has to worry about possible reprocussions from the school.

I did find out that the documentation of the school owning the land would have been in the hands of the TOWNSHIP trustees(at least that is what statutes in the 1800's said), but the Cambridge Township Records are not locatable. We found school board minutes from 1924-26 that showed the school felt they owned the property and something should have been officially recorded at that time, but no luck.

I am attaching some of the articles/letters to the editor and records we did a year ago.

History of College Square

Letter to the Henry County Board

County Board of Commission Records Related to College Square

Sources Consulted to Date in College Square Research

If you have any records, documents or other items related to this piece of property, please email Rhonda Rusk.