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Delta County deed office full of history

Noah Johnson Daily Press Chief Deputy Registrar Rob Buchler pulls past records in the Delta County Register of Deeds Office.

ESCANABA — The Register Of Deeds Office in Delta County is full of public records, documents and even national history. The available records cover the past three centuries, featuring names such as Abraham Lincoln, Harrison Ludington and Millard Fillmore.

Not only does the office maintain and keep track of land contracts and deeds, it is also preserving history. The office has the original hand-drawn map of the city of Escanaba, a document crafted in 1856 that still rests in the register of deeds. There are also documents recorded from significant figures in United States history.

“We have patents issued during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln in 1861, while the oldest one we have is from 1851 when Millard Fillmore was president,” said Chief Deputy Registrar Rob Buchler.

It is important to note that while these documents feature signatures from historical figures such as Lincoln, they are not the original signatures, rather carbon-copies that are being preserved.

Besides being home to some significant historical documents, the register of deeds is an important part of the government.

A register of deeds is a record of real estate deeds or other land documents preserved by the local government official. The register of deeds allows the public to access documents (like deeds), military discharge records, birth certificates, death certificates and more.

Buchler expanded on this, adding that the Delta County Office is working to digitize its records.

The office is a constitutional office established by the Michigan State Legislature.

“The Register of Deeds Office records real estate documents for all Delta County land. This includes deeds, surveys, mortgages, tax liens — most anything to do with land. After the office records a document, it adds the document to its permanent computer data base, scans the document and files a permanent image of it, and uploads both the index info and image info to the office’s online website to give the public remote access to all the recorded documents, all of which are public record,” Buchler said.

He added that once the document is recorded, it is this stored permanently at the register of deeds office.

“Any document ever recorded here is available to be viewed and copied. The ROD (register of deeds) records are all here back to the start of Delta County in 1863,” he said.

Delta County Clerk Nancy Przewrocki talked about the process of digitizing the records, saying it takes time to complete accurately.

“We started the process (digitizing records) in 2005 and we have gotten to the year 1967,” she said.

She said these documents are vital because they are the official and original records, especially with scammers targeting people for vital/personal information.

Additionally, the office can help locate and provide deeds. Rather than pay $35 – $45 to a company to get a copy of a deed, the deed office is happy to provide the same information at a fraction of the cost.

“I’m just happy to do this for the public,” Przewrocki said.

The Delta County Register of Deeds is located in the Delta County Courthouse at 310 Ludington Street in Escanaba.

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