Desiree Collins was just looking for an investment property—she found a treasure trove of local jazz history.
When Desiree Collins stepped into Benny Kearse's house in 2001, she wasn't looking for a piece of history. She was looking for an investment property. Kearse, who lived in the 2800 block of Brighton Street in West Baltimore, had passed away two years earlier, and his house was being auctioned.
"When you buy a house like that," says Collins, "you have about ten minutes to go inside, look around, and see if it's structurally sound. You always come across leftover junk, and Mr. Kearse didn't throw away anything. That house was full of stuff."