Sycamore Island Land Deed


Back before the invention of the typewriter, deeds were handwritten. Sycamore Island's short, 2-page deed can be read below even today (transcribed version is below the images).

In 1889, the Club formally bought Sycamore and Rupperts Island from Mathew Ruppert and his wife Mary Eva for a hundred bucks! Actually, Matthew Ruppert was one of the founders of the Club who obtained title to the land some months earlier (see below) with the express purpose of creating the club on the islands. In fact, the club had been formally organized as early as 1885, even before the islands were legally in hand.

(Click on any of the documents below to see more detail.)
(Documents scanned and photographed in the year 2001)

Sycamore Island Land Deed, Page 1

Sycamore Island Land Deed, Page 2


The Deed's text, transcribed:

This deed made this 24th day of May in the year 1889 by Mathew Ruppert and his wife, Mary Eva of Washington City in the District of Columbia.
     Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of One Hundred Dollars and for other valuable and good considerations the receipt whereof being hereby acknowledged the said Mathew Ruppert and Mary E. Ruppert his wife, doth hereby grant to the "Montgomery Sycamore Island Club," a corporation duly incorporated under the laws of Maryland the following tract part of a tract piece or parcels of land located and being in Montgomery County in the State of Maryland called Barrys' Island and particularly described as follows to wit: Beginning at a bounded Sycamore tree and running thence South 19 degrees East 14 perches, South 23 degrees East 18 perches, to a three-pronged willow tree, then North 4l degrees West 20 perches, North 43 degrees West 20 perches, North 36 degrees West 15 perches, North 4 degrees West 2 1/3 perches, North 19 degrees East 4 perches, North 18 degrees West 4 perches, North 74 degrees East 4 perches, South 79 degrees, East 8 perches, South 44 degrees East 6 perches, South 23 degrees East 20 perches to the place of beginning, containing and now laid out for three and one half acres of land, it being the same tract of land, mentioned and described in a patent from the State of Maryland to the said Mathew Ruppert dated the 20th day of August in the year 1888 and recorded in liber W.R.H. No. 2 folio 266 and one of the land records of the Land Office of the State of Maryland as on reference thereto will at large appear: also all that other tract part of a tract piece or parcel of land lying and being in said Montgomery County and being an Island in the Potomac River called Ruppert's Island and described as follows to wit: beginning at a bounded Maple tree marked C.G.W. and running thence North 60 degrees West 10 perches, North 51 degrees West 16 perches, North 16 degrees East 25 perches, South 79 degrees East 17 perches, South 43 degrees East 9 perches, South 16 degrees West 30 perches to the place of beginning containing and now laid out for four acres, two roods and twenty perches of land, it being the same tract of land mentioned and described in a patent from the State of Maryland to the said Mathew Ruppert dated the 30th day of August in the year 1888 and recorded in liber W.R.H. No. 2 folio 267 and in one of the land records of the Land Office of the said State. The said mentioned tracts of land being two Islands in the Potomac river opposite the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal between Locks No. 2 & 3.
Witness our hands and seals.

    Mathew Ruppert   (Seal)
    Mary Eva Ruppert   (Seal)

And then, to make it all legal...

Sycamore Island Land deed, Page 3


District of Columbia
    Washington City to wit:
I hereby certify that on this 24th day of May in the year 1889 before me the subscriber a notary public in and for the District of Columbia, personally appeared Mathew Ruppert and Mary Eva Ruppert his wife and acknowledged the foregoing deed to be their respective act. Given under my hand and Notarial Seal this 24th day of May A.D. 1889.
    (Seal)  Chas S. Shreve


ADDENDUM: In 1926, a certified typewritten copy of the deed was made. The typewritten deed copy matches the original hand-written document word for word and then is authenticated by the County Clerk:

STATE OF MARYLAND, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TO WIT:
    I HEREBY CERTIFY, that the aforegoing is a full, true and correct copy of a Deed from Matthew Rupert and Mary Eva Ruppert, his wife, to "The Montgomery Sycamore Island Club," recorded May 28th A.D. 1889 in Liber J.A. No. 13 at folio 380, one of the land records of Montgomery County, Maryland, truly taken and copied therefrom.
    IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed the seal of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, this 30th day of December, A.D. 1926.
    (Seal)  Preston B. Ray, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland.


FOR THE RECORD: In the year 2001, the original record of the deed, copied in long-hand, was indeed found in the Office of Land Records at the Judicial Center in Rockville, Maryland, in Liber J.A No. 13, Folio 380.



Matthew Ruppert Land Patents

Originally, Matthew Ruppert obtained Land Patents for both Sycamore Island (the document describes it as "Barry's Island") and Rupperts Island from the State of Maryland. The Patents conferred title of the islands exclusively to Matthew Ruppert before he then sold it to the Montgomery Sycamore Island Club. Both were signed by the then Governor of Maryland, Elihu E. Jackson. The Land Patent for Sycamore Island ("Barry's Island"):

Matthew Ruppert Land Patent for Sycamore Island


The Sycamore Island Patent's text, transcribed:

The State of Maryland
To all persons to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:

Know Ye
that whereas Matthew Ruppert of Montgomery County, had surveyed and laid out for him a tract or parcel of land called "Barry's Island," (Lot number one) lying in the County aforesaid, (being an Island opposite the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, between locks two and three) and containing three and one half acres of land, by virtue of one half acre, part of a Common Warrant for one acre obtained by him from the Land Office of Maryland bearing date this second day of April eighteen hundred and eighty-seven; as appears: And the said Matthew Ruppert having fully compounded for the said Land according to Law:-

The State of Maryland
doth therefore hereby grant unto him, the said Matthew Ruppert, the said tract or parcel of land called "Barry's Island," lying in Montgomery County aforesaid:-

Beginning,
at a bounded Sycamore tree and running thence South 19 degrees East 14 perches, South 23 degrees East 18 perches, to a three-pronged willow tree, then North 4l degrees West 20 perches, North 43 degrees West 20 perches, North 36 degrees West 15 perches, North 4 degrees West 2 1/3 perches, North 19 degrees East 4 perches, North 18 degrees West 4 perches, North 74 degrees East 4 perches, South 79 degrees, East 8 perches, South 44 degrees East 6 perches, South 23 degrees East 20 perches to the place of beginning:-

Containing,
and now laid out for three and one half acres of land, according to the certificate of survey thereof, taken and returned into the land office, bearing date the twenty-fifth day of June eighteen hundred and eighty-seven; and there remaining:- together with all rights, profits, benefits and privileges thereunto belonging:

To Have and To Hold,
the same unto him, the said Matthew Ruppert, his heirs and assigns forever:-

Given under the Great Seal of the State of Maryland
this thirtieth day of August eighteen hundred and eighty-eight:-

Elihu E. Jackson
Governor

Land Office of Maryland,
I certify that the aforegoing patent is proper to be issued: In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed this seal of the Land Office of Maryland, this twenty-seventh day of August eighteen hundred and eighty-eight:-

J. Thomas Scharf
Commissioner of the Land Office
Elihu E. Jackson
Governor



And on the back:
Back of Sycamore Island Patent

The Back of the Sycamore Island Patent's text, transcribed:

Matthew Ruppert, his Patent
"Barry' Island"
3 acre
___________________________
Recorded in Liber W.R.H. No. 2 folio 266
___________________________
Recording $1.25 Paid
Received this 12th day of March,
1891, to be recorded and same
day was recorded in Liber J.A.
No. 25 folio 97, one of the
land records of Montgomery Co.
and examined per --
James Anderson,
Clerk



FOR THE RECORD: In the year 2001, the original record of the Land Patent, copied in long-hand, was indeed found in the Office of Land Records at the Judicial Center in Rockville, Maryland, in Liber J.A No. 25, Folio 97.



The Land Patent for Rupperts Island:

Matthew Ruppert Land Patent for Rupperts Island

The Rupperts Island Patent's text, transcribed:

The State of Maryland
To all persons to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:

Know Ye
that whereas Matthew Ruppert of Montgomery County, had surveyed and laid out for him a tract or parcel of land called "Rupperts Island," (Lot number two) lying in the County aforesaid, (being an Island opposite Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, between locks number two and three), and containing four acres, two roods and twenty perches of land by virtue of one half acre, part of a Common Warrant for one acre obtained by him from the Land Office of Maryland bearing date this second day of April eighteen hundred and eighty-seven; as appears:- And the said Matthew Ruppert having fully compounded for the said Land according to Law:-

The State of Maryland
doth therefore hereby grant unto him, the said Matthew Ruppert, the said tract or parcel of land called "Ruppert's Island," lying in Montgomery County aforesaid:-

Beginning,
at a bounded Maple tree marked C.G.W. and running thence North 60 degrees West 10 perches, North 51 degrees West 16 perches, North 16 degrees East 25 perches, South 79 degrees East 17 perches, South 43 degrees East 9 perches, South 16 degrees West 30 Perches to the place of beginning:-

Containing,
and now laid out for four acres, two roods and twenty perches of land, according to the certificate of survey thereof, taken and returned into the land office, bearing date the twenty-fifth day of June eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, and there remaining:- together with all rights, profits, benefits and privileges thereunto belonging:

To Have and To Hold,
the same unto him, the said Matthew Ruppert, his heirs and assigns forever:-

Given under the Great Seal of the State of Maryland
this thirtieth day of August eighteen hundred and eighty-eight:-

Elihu E. Jackson
Governor


Land Office of Maryland,
I certify that the aforegoing patent is proper to be issued: In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed this seal of the Land Office of Maryland, this twenty-seventh day of August eighteen hundred and eighty-eight:-

J. Thomas Scharf
Commissioner of the Land Office
Elihu E. Jackson
Governor


And on the back:
Back of Rupperts Island Patent

The Back of the Rupperts Island Patent's text, transcribed:


"The Montgomery Sycamore Island Club"

Matthew Ruppert, his Patent
"Ruppert's Island"
4 acr 2r, +20ps,
___________________________
Recorded in Liber W.R.H. No. 2 folio 267
___________________________
Recording $1.25 Paid
Received this 12th day of March,
1891, to be recorded and same
day was recorded in Liber J.A.
No. 25 folio 98, one of the
land records of Montgomery Co.
and examined per --
James Anderson,
Clerk



FOR THE RECORD: In the year 2001, the original record of the Land Patent, copied in long-hand, was indeed found in the Office of Land Records at the Judicial Center in Rockville, Maryland, in Liber J.A No. 25, Folio 98.