LYNNWOOD — An apparently historical document from Lynnwood is up for auction in Canada on Tuesday.
The way the story goes, the land title was signed by Grover Cleveland while he was president in 1888 — before Washington became a state. The title was for property that later became home to Edmonds Community College, according to a local historian.
Scribner Auction, a firm based in Wainwright, Alberta, began calling around Snohomish County last week to get the word out. Owner and auctioneer Katrina Scribner says she found the research compiled by Betty Lou Gaeng, a local historian who writes columns for My Edmonds News, MLTNews and Lynnwood Today. Gaeng, 91, was featured in The Daily Herald in November.
In an April column, Gaeng described Luke Greenstreet, one of Lynnwood’s earliest pioneers. He came to town in 1883.
“His 160-acre homestead ran south from (Reed) lake and included the present-day Edmonds Community College property,” she wrote.
The land title was included in a man’s estate that the auction house is handling, Scribner said.
The man lived north of Wainwright and was a historian and collector, she said.
“He went to every auction he could go to, any farm that would have him there, any sites that would allow him on,” she said. “Who knows the story of how it ended up traveling where it did?”
The man’s notes say the signature did in fact belong to Cleveland. “That’s it,” Scribner said. “That’s all we have. Nobody’s authenticated it.”
Through her research, Scribner learned that a Cleveland signature is not necessarily lucrative.
“He signed a lot of stuff,” she said.
However, the title is “still old and most of these land titles didn’t hang on,” she said. “A lot of people had them at home and they didn’t survive. It’s probably still rare and it’s probably still interesting to the history of the Washington Territory.”
The text includes the phrase “Township 27” and Greenstreet’s name and is dated Jan. 25, 1888.
The auction is in-person in Alberta but also available online at www.scribnernet.com. The land title is labeled as Item 67 within the New Year’s Day sale, which starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Alberta time, or 9 a.m. Pacific Time.