Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

June 2, 2009

The Horse v The Train

by @ 1:35 pm. Filed under Registry Ops, History

Attorneys with offices in the northwestern corner of Middlesex County have been vocal in stating their displeasure with the imminent closure of the Middlesex South Satellite Office here in Lowell. Certainly the added travel time from communities such as Townsend, Pepperell and Ayer to Cambridge (as opposed to Lowell) makes their reaction understandable. Yesterday I received a very thoughtful and respectful letter from one such attorney who not only made the case for keeping the Satellite Office in operation, but also answered a longstanding question I’ve had about why communities that are in the northern-most part of the county remained in the Southern District. It turns out that when the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds was created by the state legislature back in 1855, the journey from Ayer to Lowell would have been made on horseback over dirt roads while the trip from Ayer to Cambridge would have been made in the relative comfort of a train. In the days before autos and interstate highways, the best available technology for getting documents recorded was the train to Boston. Ironically, the newest technology available today – electronic recording – makes the physical location of the recording office irrelevant since attorneys can record without ever leaving the office. And it’s not like electronic recording is some futuristic fantasy that lays far in the future. Here in Lowell it’s been a reality for the past four years and has accounted for the recording of 13,000 documents. There’s no reason why the same service shouldn’t be available to all. Given the availability of a superior technological alternative and considering the budget and staff reductions caused by the current fiscal crisis, closing the satellite office at this time remains unavoidable.

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