Emmaville Store, circa 1969

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Mystery of the Deep 'C'

When we purchased Emmaville we had to puzzle out who owned the boats and camper in storage because there were no records. Eventually, we identified all the owners except for one. Five years later we still don't know who the person is.

The mystery person owns a sweet little boat.  Sitting under a dusty tarp in a corner of our storage shed is a 1957 Alumacraft "Deep C" with a newer (1970s) Johnson outboard motor. The boat has a full windshield in good condition, console steering, a wooden transom and cool looking aluminum-clad wooden oars with holders built in to the hull.  The trailer looks at least as old as the boat.

When Clayton arrived in the spring of our first year at Emmaville I asked him if he knew who owned this boat. He said something like, "Yeah, its an older guy, comes around and pays for storage every year." That told us two things: Clayton wasn't good at remembering names and since Clayton was 90, this "old guy" must be really old!  We decided to wait to see if anyone would show up to claim the boat.

Two years ago, I decided to try to find the owner through the boat's registration sticker. I went on-line to the DNR site with the information but didn't get far. The site requires entering the owner's drivers license number or SSN or "Customer number."  I reached a dead end.

Last fall I tried another tack: I asked our local Conservation Officer Sam Hunter if she could look the owner up. But Sam said she could not because of privacy laws. Another dead end.

This winter I learned about Minnesota's abandoned property laws. If I made an abandoned property "claim" to the sheriff's office, they would do a search for the owner. I gave the deputy the registration information. A few weeks later he called and asked for the boat's serial number.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate it.

I haven't heard back from the deputy. According to the abandoned property law, I could petition the court to declare the boat abandoned, but that would involve paying an attorney and paying fees to publish public notices for three weeks. I wasn't sure I wanted to make the investment.

So, for now, the boat will remain under the dusty tarp in a corner of the storage shed.

Anybody who recognizes the boat or has any information on it is welcome to contact us here at the store. Can you help us solve the Mystery of the Deep 'C'?