March 27 in History: The Disappearing House
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It was a perplexing scene in Jersey City 100 years ago as a two-story home had gone missing!
On March 27, 1916, a Manhattan real estate agent showed up at the location to show the home to a potential buyer, but found only the foundation remaining at the location. According to later detective work, the house had been moved away piece by piece by unknown persons over the course of a few weeks.
Since the real estate agent was the one to discover the missing structure, it's possible that the owner had moved it without informing him, but that would seem just as strange an occurrence as thieves absconding with the house piece by piece. Searching through the archives didn't turn up any follow-up stories on the case.
In the 100 years since, the entire neighborhood has disappeared much like 946 Garfield Avenue - the block is now empty and will soon become a new development.
Here is the reprinted text of the original article from 'The Evening World':
HOUSE DISAPPEARS; STOLEN, SAY POLICE
Foundation Is All That Remains of Jersey Structure, Carried Away Bit by Bit.
"I want to report the disappearance of a house," said Francis X. Gormley, former Comptroller of Jersey City, as he entered the Communipaw Avenue Police Station to-day.
"Has it eloped or just strayed away?" asked the surprised desk lieutenant.
"Search me," replied Gormley, "but it's gone, just the same. It stood at No. 946 Garfield Avenue, just two blocks from the Arlington Avenue Police Station. A man from Canarsie called on me this morning and said he wanted a two-story two-family structure. I took him over to show him this one. It was gone."
A detective who was sent out to search for the missing house learned it had been carried away piecemeal during the last few weeks. Nothing but the foundation is left of it. The structure was owned by the Rosalind Realty Company of No. 27 William Street, Manhattan. Mr. Gormley was the agent for it.