Solution searched for each mystery

A man or woman could be the key to solving a 100-year-old Dunedin mystery involving a tiny plot of land owned by a long-buried man.

Public Trust announced this week that it had been approached to become the manager of a 186m² plot of bare land, currently used as a driveway and driveway for several properties, in Andersons Bay.

The land is listed as belonging to the late Simon Frederick Every, who invented a flexible broom that improved the lives of chimney sweeps and gave Dunedin’s Every St its name.

Mr. Every died over 100 years ago on April 24, 1888, but somehow he still owns the plot of land.

A notice in the Otago Daily Times said Public Trust was seeking to become a manager to “regulate” the property.

It was previously believed to be part of an adjacent property.

This property, at 74 Silverton St, was previously a kindergarten that has fallen into disrepair and is now abandoned with shattered windows and filled with dust and construction debris.

When asked if a descendant of Mr Every could claim the plot, Public Trust chief executive Glenys Talivai said that if someone was a beneficiary of his estate and believed they were entitled to the land, he should get in touch.

Public Trust would ask to see proof of this right.

Mr. Every’s plot of land is zoned residential but vacant.

This is the upper part of a long paved driveway that leads to several residences and the Elliot St Oranga Tamariki facility.

The unclaimed section has a taxable value of $11,000 and the taxpayer is listed as Simon Frederick Every (Estate).

A spokesman for Dunedin City Council declined to say whether the section had payment rates and referred the ODT to section seven of the unclaimed property provisions of the Public Trust Act 2001.

This allows the trust to take possession and administer property whose owner or agent is deceased or cannot be found.

Mr Talivai said the independent Crown entity was “bound by strict confidentiality and privacy obligations”.

The trust’s takeover process usually began after they received a request from a third party and the unclaimed land prevented them from developing or using the land, she said.

Mr Every emigrated from Derbyshire, England, where he was the youngest son of a baronet and received a gold medal from Queen Victoria in 1851 after inventing a flexible broom which improved the lives of many young chimney sweeps .

He died aged 84 and was known in New Zealand as a farmer and artist who produced many sketches of Dunedin.

Every street where the Bain family murders took place bears his name.

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