If you take Berry Corner Rd. from Rte. 169 to my parents’ house, here’s what you see: The road turns to the left up Ayers Rd. (If you didn’t know about it, you would just think that the road curved, not that you changed roads.) Continuing straight goes down an unpaved portion of what is now or formerly still Berry Corner Rd. (Down this road is our house’s driveway.) Turning to the right would go down my parents’ driveway.
So, there’s this unpaved portion of Berry Corner Rd., which goes from my parents’ driveway and through to Sturbridge.
This road, at some point, used to be a town road.
We thought that this road was still a town road, because the Town Clerk thought that it was a town road. However, she later found out that in fact, her records were wrong, and Town Meeting discontinued the road, from the intersection with Ayers to the Sturbridge town line, in 1955. (Our wild guess is that the town didn’t want to maintain it after damage from the Flood of ’55.)
So, I’m not quite sure who owned the land at that point. Did the town still own it, just not as a public road? Or was it “split”, so that the people who own the land across that road from us own their half of the road, and owner in 1955 owned their half of the road? I’ve heard that it was the latter, although I’m not completely sure.
The land has changed hands a few times since then. Most recently, most of it went to my parents, and they gave a portion of it to us. However, the deeds describing the transfer define the lot boundaries relative to a metal pole, which is fully off of the road. However, the deeds also describe the lot as being a portion (or the remaining part) of a lot deeded to the seller. So I’m not sure which takes precedence.
So, is the unpaved portion of Berry Corner Rd. owned by (a) nobody, (b) the town, (c) a previous owner, or (d) my parents and/or us?
I’d kind of want to buy any portions of the road not currently owned by us, but I want how much that is, and who to buy it from. (For instance, I want to ensure I have the right to take my car down this road to get to our house. I’ve heard that there’s a law allowing continued usage of a road if it’s been used for a certain amount of time, but I don’t really know where to find information on that, either.)
How would I go about actually trying to find this all out? I assume some sort of lawyer, but I’m not even sure what I’m trying to ask, or how much I’d be willing to spend to find out.