Bartlesville woman concerned after person steals historic bricks from popular sidewalk

Posted at 6:17 PM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 04:32:57-04

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. -- Pieces of history are quickly disappearing from one neighborhood, and a homeowner is wondering what can be done after she claims someone stole historic bricks right out of a famous sidewalk.

The corner of Eighth and Dewey puts history on display on the sidewalk in front of Mary Abernethy's home, which is made of intricate, locally stamped bricks that predate Oklahoma's statehood.

"It's one of the few (sidewalks) that I've seen that still has the brick intact," Abernethy said, "but, because they're just tapped into the earth, it's easy enough to sprout feet with."

She said she noticed the first few bricks missing in fall 2016, but someone came back in March and removed an entire section of the sidewalk. She said, in total, she estimates that thieves have now taken hundreds of bricks.

"I'd say you're taking Bartlesville history. You're taking my house's history. You're also creating a liability," Abernethy said. "If someone breaks their neck, it's on my hands. It should be yours."

She suspects the bricks are being taken because of their rarity and their value.

"If they were to be sold on the market," she said, "you're looking at a minimum of five dollars each."

City leaders suggest that she keep reporting the thefts to police, like she's already done, but so far nothing has stopped more bricks from being taken.

"Every time I come up here," Abernethy said, "there's more and more bricks stolen."

She's at a loss right now about what else can be done and worries about the impact this might have on her community.

"Whether it's somebody paving their sidewalk or paving their porch or selling to the open market, I don't know," she said.

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