Thursday, February 26, 2015

Family History Writing Challenge Day 26

Shrewsbury Lake
The Shrewsbury Park Land and Improvement Company had gone to great lengths and expense to develop a community that would entice city dwellers to move to the country. Shrewsbury Park was laid out very much to resemble a park, complete with lakes, waterfalls, springs, spring houses, rustic bridges, pagodas and walkways.

As such, they put restrictions on what could and could not be built in the community in order to preserve the integrity of the design of the development. Within the deeds transferring ownership were the following provisions:

FIRST, Not to erect or permit to be erected, occupied or used on said property any livery stable, tannery, dram shop or saloon, slaughter house, public cattle shed, dairy, bone yard, glue factory nor any building or edifice designed or intended to be used for such purpose or purposes; and not to open or permit to be opened on said property any quarry or to establish any brickyard or any other similar businesses; also not to establish, maintain or permit any nuisance of any character on or adjacent to said property, and not to erect any building on said property to cost less than Fifteen Hundred (1500) Dollars when finished.

SECOND, When a building is erected on said property the front of said building is to be not less than Twenty (20) feet distant from the line of the street on which said lot of ground fronts; but this provision shall not apply to the foundations of pillars or open porches or verandas which may be built upon the front of said residence.

THIRD, It shall be lawful for any other person or persons owning any lot or or part or parts of lots in any of the subdivisions of Shrewsbury Park, in behalf of and for the benefit pf either themselves or the said owner or owners, or for any or either of them to prosecute any proceeding or proceedings at law or in equity against a person or persons infringing or attempting to infringe, or omitting to perform or to keep, observe, or abide by said provision or provisions, for the purpose of preventing them from so doing, or collecting damage for such infringement or omission, or both.

Shrewsbury Park lawsuit
The third provision was invoked by two Shrewsbury Park residents, Charles H. Lillington and George H. Toehber, when they felt that some of their neighbors were in violation of the first provision. As this July 1, 1904 article in The St. Louis Republic states, the two men filed a petition with the St. Louis County Circuit Court requesting the the houses of nine of their neighbors be torn down due to violating the requirement that all buildings cost at least $1,500 to construct. Lillington and Toehber contended that the nine homes in question cost less than half that amount to build. The two men wanted these home either torn down or forced to comply with the $1,500 stipulation. The outcome of the lawsuit is unknown, but it must have made for an uncomfortable relationship between the men and their neighbors regardless of how the suit turned out.

"If you want to annoy your neighbors, tell the truth about them." ~ Pietro Arentino

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