The first step, as the others suggest, is to check the tax record to see who's listed as the owner.
Also, check with a Realtor, who can pull that information up as well as the property's history.
A few other suggestions . . . .
Write a letter to "Owner, 123 Main Street" and mail it. If there's still an active forwarding address, it'll be delivered. If not, it'll be returned to you.
And the best way, I've found, is to knock on neighbors' doors. The neighbors will know the status. There's usually at least one neighbor who's like the community historian. You just have to find him/her. I've done that a number of times, and always gotten all the information I've been looking for.
Hope that helps.