Today Jennifer had the brilliant idea of looking up our new home in Google Maps and getting a satellite view of it. The image it showed was pretty interesting:
The yellow arrow points to what appears to be a small swimming pool in our back yard, in just about the exact location as the mysterious lawn circle which I’ve described elsewhere in my blog.
Perhaps this is the true explanation, but there are still unsolved mysteries. Why is it a ring, for example, and not an entire circle of flattened, dead grass? This makes me think that Google Maps, perhaps in cahoots with the US government, is hiding something decidedly sinister. Why else alter the satellite images? I’m still thinking extraterrestrials, or perhaps fairies.
In other news, we went to the Sacramento Archives yesterday and did a little research into the history of our house. There wasn’t much, but the archives had tax ledgers for our section of the town (which was annexed by the city of Sacramento in 1911, apparently) for several years; based on the sudden upsurge in property value and skyrocketing property taxes (from $2.76 in 1912 to $18.25 in 1913!), we are pretty sure our house was built in 1913.
The archives also had a number of city directories from 1929 through 1960; in these books, which used to be quite common (until privacy laws became popular), you could look up an address to get the names of the people who lived there, and then find out what they did for a living (assuming they filled out a card and sent it in to the publisher). From these books we discovered that the builder of our house was Robert Lincoln Motz, who seems to have worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad, which used to run just north of where we live now (until Highway 50 replaced it). He seems to have lived with his two daughters, one of whom had the delightful name "Orpha Norine Wallace" (we have decided that if we get a pair of female cats in the future, one will be named "Orpha" and one will be named "Norine" in this poor woman’s honor). Orpha and Etta (the other daughter) both worked as stenographers for the same railroad. It appears that Mr. Motz sold his home at some point in the 1920’s and moved to Spokane, WA, where he died in 1931; the probate documents showed that he left behind a number of shares in various companies, as well as a rocker.
We were also able to track down some limited record of various building permits related to our house. The small building in the back yard, which we’ve been calling a carriage house, was apparently built in 1920 as a "chicken house". Jennifer argues that it’s much too big to be a chicken house; I argue that they were stately chickens who deserved a chicken manor, and that this explains the presence of chicken wire in the inner casings of the boarded up windows.
We will continue to investigate our house’s past, and go to the county’s records clerk and do a reverse title lookup to see exactly who owned the house when and hopefully get more detailed records of building permits related to the house.
And so far, nothing we’ve found suggests anything having to do with aliens, government cover ups, or fairies. I remain hopeful, though. The truth is out there.