I'm always fascinated by the items that I find hidden in houses or old furniture. In past flip houses it's been very minimal since they've been pretty young houses in my opinion (60 years? that's nothin. Talk to me when the house is 100+ years old and still standing.) This house, Millie, however is 100 years old and I can tell it's just busting at the seams to tell its stories if you'll listen. Last week, as I demoed the closets behind the kitchen wall to allow for the future master closet, it was like cracking open a time capsule.
The earliest treasure you might have caught a glimpse of on instagram- a Worcester Telegram newspaper from May 12th, 1915. As I tried to unfold the paper, however, it disintegrated in my hands. Apparently above the ceiling of a closet isn't the ideal location for the archival of newspapers. Who knew? I gently tried to unfold a few pages to show you the headlines from 99 years ago.
"Two Philadelphia Boys Among Victims on Ill-Fated Cunard Liner Lusitania"
This headline was the most interesting in my opinion. The Lucitania was torpedoed by a German U-boat on May 7th, 1915, less than a week prior to this paper, so this was probably still breaking news.
On a lighter note, can I interest you in purchasing a horse or bull within the city?
"Submarine Wrecks Unidentified Ship" which was apparently still burning in Amsterdam at the time of publication according to the article
The next stop on our timeline from the 'time capsule' was from inside the wall. A 1934 postcard offering a special test drive of the NEW Nash 5- Passenger Broughan to Miss D. A. Scott.
Good news! The car sports 'built-in fender lamps' and a 'gracefully designed built-in trunk.' I'll take it! I blurred out the street address, but I love how it just says "City." I also love that its addressed to Miss Scott. It was probably a rarity in those days for women to drive cars, let alone purchase them, so I dig it. I wish I knew if she ever went on the test drive.
One step further in our timeline takes us to the later 30s onto the Queen Mary Ship. This poster wasn't hiding per se, but it was on the wall down to the basement. As you can see, it's suffered some water damage over the years an had to be taken down.
Friends of mine actually had their wedding on this ship just a few years ago, so that adds to the cool factor here.
Lastly in today's time capsule, we reach the late 60s, early 70s. Hidden inside the wall behind the kitchen was this collection of small child's items. Lincoln Logs, a plastic cowboy hat, a plastic screw driver, a christmas bulb, and a quarter from 1967. There was a small plastic teacup too, but it got lost in the demo debris (pout). Nothing particularly notable or unique about the items themselves, but I love how they found their way into the wall....
I present their entrance. The perfect, Lincoln Log-sized hole behind where the stove previously lived.
Inside the walls of one small closet, the treasures spanned from 1915 to 1967 and that only includes the items that I discovered. Who knows what else might be hiding behind these walls or what other stories this house might share with me before I finish the project and resell it.
THIS is why I love old houses. The generations that have existed within the same walls.... the monumental historical moments that this home has stood through... and the deeply personal meaning this house has had to so many people for so many years. How can new construction hold a candle to that?