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Above: this two hundred year old illustration of Maxwell Town, which would later become Marsh Harbour, shows the large “Key Tract” towards the bottom of the map.

Key Tract Dispute Resurfaces; Scores of Landowners Face Uncertainty

 

Above: this two hundred year old illustration of Maxwell Town, which would later become Marsh Harbour, shows the large “Key Tract” towards the bottom of the map.
Above: this two hundred year old illustration of Maxwell Town, which would later become Marsh Harbour, shows the large “Key Tract” towards the bottom of the map.

After several years of inactivity after the passing of the late Shepherd L. Key, the court petition under the Quieting Titles Act has once again emerged as the estate of Mr. Key appears to be seeking settlement on the matter.

The land title that is being sought to be quieted is the 236.66 acres of land known as Keys Tract, long a hotbed of difficulty over the years since 1964 when Mr. Key initially filed with the court.

Currently all parcels of land that make up Keys Tract are believed to be claimed and much has been built upon with both commercial and residential structures.

One property owner, Jeff Albury, said that Mr. Key claimed that he is the oldest or direct heir of Nathan Key – the owner of the original grant of land – and that he should get all this property. He said that the matter has been in and out of courts since the 1950’s and no judge seems to want to make a ruling.

Mr. Albury said that it seems that Attorney Cedric L Parker is now involved and it appears they are seeking to negotiate a settlement.

“This will affect a lot of people [in Abaco] if he wins the settlement,” he said. “The best thing the property owners can do is come together and ensure that their property is protected” he added.

In letter from a lawyer involved advised of the re-surfacing of the petitioner’s claim, and as recently advertised in the newspaper, a public notice calling for any adverse claims has been posted.

The legal filing on behalf of the estate of Shepherd L. Key petitions for three items; that Mr. key is the owner in fee simple of the 236.66 acres of land, that he is aware of no charge, encumbrance, dower or right to dower, affecting his title, and that he seeks that his title be investigated and determined and declared and that a certificate of title be issued in accordance with the Quieting Titles Act (1987) Chapter 357.

The original property was granted to Nathan Key, a Loyalist settler to Abaco over two hundred years ago, by the Crown. It is said that the property was left to his descendants for their use and was not to be sold.

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About Timothy Roberts

Timothy Roberts

Timothy had his first venture into Journalism just months after graduating from Queen’s College in Nassau taking his first job with The Tribune in 1991 leaving in 1992 for other pursuits.

During his time in Nassau he diversified his experiences working as a warehouse manager, locksmith and computer technician before returning to Abaco, a place he has always considered home, in 1999.

He joined the staff of The Abaconian in 2001 doing graphic design and writing an opinion article called Generally Speaking and after a brief time away, returned to The Abaconian in 2010 as a reporter, graphic designer and computer technician.

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