Friday, December 21, 2007

The Case Of The Purloined Pine

The scene of the crime - 13 Gordon street, home of Otto Sharp.

Richards, L.J. 1899 (copyright © 2000 by Cartography Associates)
David Rumsey Collection

Boston Daily Globe December 16, 1912

Mystery of Stolen Irish Pine Solved.

Found in Home of Jamaica Plain Boy Who Cut It For Christmas Tree.

In the front yard of the comfortable home of Otto Sharp, 13 Gordon st, Jamaica Plain, for 15 years an Irish pine, the pride of the Sharp family and the envy of the neighbors, has been nurtured with jealous care. Saturday evening it disappeared, only a bleeding stump remaining to mark the place where it stood.

Word was sent to the Jamaica Plain Police Station, and early yesterday morning, Capt Harriman summoned patrolman Joseph Delaney to his office. After receiving the details of the mysterious crime, he issued the following instructions to his trusted sleuth: "Go forth and return not until the culprits are captured and brought hither."

"Gee whiz," mused Delaney, "that's going some, and I think the captain means business."

Carefully examining his revolver, the fearless Joseph hastened to the scene of the desecration. He made a careful survey of the surroundings and discovered on the sidewalk near the fence a few green needles evidently shaken from the tree.

"Ah, ha!" he exclaimed with true detective inflection, and took up the trail. Over fences, through alleyways, through yards and across fields the dauntless Delaney followed the needles, which at length led him to the door of a well-known citizen of Jamaica Plain. Delaney entered, and still guided by the needles, passed through hall and living rooms into the bathroom. There stood the pine, somewhat damaged, but still sturdy.

Upon questioning the 11-year-old son of the family, Delaney ascertained that he wanted a Christmas tree and being financially embarrassed, conceived the idea of cutting down Mr Sharp's pine, which he did with the assistance of his chums under cover of night. [?] will probably be aired in the juvenile session of the West Roxbury District Court Saturday morning.

Mr Sharp has another Irish pine left.


  1. I'm a landscape architect, but i've never heard of irish pine.... I also walk by this house on my way to the T every day, next time I will defintely be on the lookout for a 100 year old pine tree though? Have you checked to see if it still exists yet?