The journey of an historical Lycoming County document has made its way back home, almost full circle from where it started in 1862.
A Civil War-era Wolf Township assessor's log book was listed for auction on eBay.com on Aug. 25 by a seller in Endicott, N.Y.
Gayle Ann Livecchia, a genealolgical researcher from Mount Arlington, N.J., saw the item online and contacted township supervisors to see if they wanted the book, which lists the number of farm animals, wagons and acreage of residents' land.
Gary parks holds up a historical document he purchased off of eBay in earlier this month. The document is an 1862 Wolf Township assessor log.
They didn't, but the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming Historical Society did.
Gary Parks, museum director, was the winning bidder and purchased the log book for $48 on Sept. 4.
"I felt strongly that it should not leave the area," said Parks, adding the document contains a wealth of information for history and genealogy buffs. "I'm just glad that it was retrieved and it's here forever."
Livecchia questioned how and why the document may have left the hands of Wolf Township officials, but Parks said tax assessors in that time period were private citizens who worked from their homes. It would not have been unusual for such an item to be passed down within a family, he said.
"I want people to understand there was no wrongdoing in this," Parks said.
Some states prohibit the sale of any public records. It is not illegal for citizens to buy or sell such documents in Pennsylvania, according to officials, but the practice is discouraged by archivists.
"I certainly encourage people who do have similar documents to place them in an appropriate archival facility (like the museum)," Parks said.
Parks said the old assessor's log is a welcome piece at the museum.
"We have a number of tax lists already here in the archives," he said. "A lot of those have genealogical and historical merit. Somehow, they need to be preserved."