A land title history of Oace Acres

PDF Images of Oace Acres Plat Maps. Thanks so much to Amanda and Jennifer at the Washington County Public Works Department for their help!

PDF: Oace Acres 1955

PDF: Oace Acres Second Addition 1956

PDF: Oace Acres Third Addition 1959

PDF: Oace Acres Fourth Addition 1969

Oace Acres Restrictive Covenants

From 1971 to 1978 I lived in an area in Lake Elmo, MN between lakes Olson, Demontreville, and Jane. The neighborhood had been mapped out and developed in stages, under the plat names of Oace Acres, Oace Acres Second thru Fifth Additions. The second plat is named ‘Oace acres second addition’. I believe this is better read as ‘Oace Acres second, addition’. What I am discussing here covers this inner area between the lakes and all the way to the end of Hidden Bay road, but does not extend to other neighborhoods that are considered part of the Tri-Lakes area such as lots on the ‘outer’ side of these lakes, so to speak. These were developed under different plats.

The process of filing a plat allows a developer to worth with local government to take an undivided parcel of land–often former farmland or woods–and divide it into residential lots. This process results in a plat map which is approved by local government and filed in the county real estate records as it defines lot boundaries and provides a convenient legal name for the lots. As is often the case, restrictive covenants were also filed and attached to the property. The purpose of these covenants was to ensure minimum levels of home quality and to preserve the natural surroundings of the wooded area.

The underlying land was granted to its first private owner from the federal government in 1854. These federal land grants are the first entry in the chain of title for most lands west of the areas of the east coast that were settled prior to the 1850s. In 1947, a plat called the ‘Three Lakes Farm Addition’ was filed covering an area where the northernmost boundary was along what became Windbreak Hill (road name), and extending down into the area where Deer Pond and Jack Pine Trail (road names) were placed. I don’t have any more information regarding the intents or ultimate use of this plat.

The first plat for Oace Acres was approved by the city of East Oakdale (presumably subsumed by Lake Elmo at some point) in September if 1955. It defined lots essentially on the ‘outside’ part of the curve of Hidden Bay Road, all of which lots were on Lake Olson, the channel between Olson and Demontreville, and on Lake Demontreville itself. Lot 1 is owned by the Carmelite Nuns, and I don’t think a dwelling was ever built on it.

Lot 13 was a large one, and faced the channel between the lakes and I believe it has been divided into 3 or 4 lots since the plat was filed.

In 1956, the Oaces initiated a judicial proceeding to adjudicate all property rights to the land underlying Oace Acres, and the land to the south what became Windbreak Hill. This placed the land into the Torrens Property records, and hence, Oace Acres receive a Torrens property certificate rather than the older abstract form of title. In Washington County property records, the judgement from this case is referred to as Torrens Case 334, and it granted Oaces title to the land, subject to property interests in the lots that had already been sold. Most homeowners of this plat purchased the land from the Oaces using contracts for deed.

The second plat filed was Oace Acres Second Addition, approved in October of 1956. It looks like Washington County had by then taken over the plat process from the cities. This plat created the remaining Hidden Bay lots that are north of an imaginary line extending east-west along Windbreak Hill. It included lots on the west end of Lake Jane, with lot 14 being set aside for recreational use for the landowners of this plat who did not get lake lots. The landlocked lots in this area were granted a lien on lot 14 for ‘boating and bathing purposes’ , with the leinholders liable in equal shares for the expenses of maintaining this lot.

Lots 24 and 25 were to the north of BirchBark Lane and were not developed until recent years. These are owned by the Carmelite Nuns. I understand that the houses on these lots are for the use of the Carmelite Nuns and the Jesuit Retreat House, both owning large land parcels bordering on the north east portion of Lake Demontreville.

Oace Acres Third Addition was approved in January of 1959 and covered the area to the east of Hidden Bay road and south of Windbreak Hill. It covered up Three Lakes Farm Addition, and I presume Three Lakes disappeared from a legal standpoint. The road that became Jack Pine Trail was called ‘Halfway Road’ in the plat.

Oace Acres Fourth Addition was approved in May of 1969 and defined lots on both sides of Hidden Bay road south of the Windbreak Trail intersection and running to the west end of Hidden Bay Road.

Oace Acres Fifth Addition was approved in 1971, I think, and covered the development done to the west of Deer Pond Road.

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