Home>Discussions>MAGAZINE>YourTOH>Your Discoveries>Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
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Dedelynne
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
Dedelynne

When I was in grade school in the 50's, my Uncle was remodeling the family house. I'm not sure when it was built but my mom was born there and she's now 83. Every room had been insulated with old newspapers, mostly from the 1920's. My Uncle told me that if I looked at each one I could find my Mom's birth announcement. I spent an entire day pouring over them until he finally told me he was only kidding! Even at that early stage of my life I still took a few home to keep. The house I lived in when I got married had two interesting treasures waiting to be found. Going through the attic I found a small book from the 1st half of the century that contained Washington state liquor prices. What a difference in cost from then to now. Our 2nd find was a little bit morbid. Behind a huge wisteria was a hand carved marble headstone complete with a name, birth and death dates, and a charming sentiment surrounded by angels! Luckily the neighbor was able to tell us that the Uncle of the owner was a headstone mason who had carved the stone and for some unknown reason it was never used so he just brought it home. To this day it still sits in my garden.Our present house was built in 1929. It contains all of the original woodwork, a birdseye maple mantel, and all ten skeleton keys to each door. Average find to some~treasure to us. Happy hunting!

tanlaw2006
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
tanlaw2006

I have now spent 27 days in my new "94 yr old house".
I have found a skeleton key but not the door it opens. Mind you it just appeared on the window sill.....
My second find was also a bit mysterious. I looked around my attic with home inspector back in Jan. and saw nothing unusual. This past weekend while my Dad was visiting I asked him to close the attic door the previous owners must have left it open. I wasn't tall enough to reach it. Anyway he went to close the attic door and a letter from 1921 fell out. It was from a real estate attorney explaining why he purchased property in the neighborhood then a cancelled check from 1921 fell down. I'm going treasure hunting in the attic this weekend.:)

Eric1435
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
Eric1435

During a remodel of a 1950's era bathroom, I discovered a wall full of old razor blades. It turns out the medicine cabinet that used to rest in the wall cavity had slots on the inside that were meant for the disposal of old razor blades. I guess they felt it was safer going into the wall than into the garbage.

doitmyselfer
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
doitmyselfer

My wife and I purchased our home in South Jersey in February '07-it is an old Victorian style home with all of the original gingerbread and woodwork. The realtor and owner didn't know when the home was built, but our insurance agent told us later that they estimated it to be built in 1917. Last summer we remodeled the living room and when I was pulling off the baseboard trim to refinish it I found an open space underneath a built-in cabinet. In there I found a folded up piece of newspaper dated December 29, 1885. It fell apart when I tried to unfold it and most of it is illegible, but we could read the date and some wedding announcements. We were pretty excited to learn the actual date of when our home was built.

Marjorie
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
Marjorie

My family moved into a pre-civil war house out in the 'boonies' in the late 60's. My mom had located buried walks and our jobs were to uncover them... didn't find anything but great hand made old bricks leading to a spring at the base of a hill, but while digging in an old flower bed, my mom found a very interesting old, heavy, metal alloy bracelet. Heavy links and shells, lota and lots of tinkling shells. The metal was kind of a silver-gold. Our jeweler really liked it, but couldn't identify it.

Also some old bottles, of course. And a 6-foot resident black snake that lived in the cellar and would come out and coil companionably nearby whenever anyone was down there for any length of time. He was a treasure to us, as our parents explained - because he ate up the mice and kept the copperheads away.

Some friends boldly climbed up the outside of the house to enter the attic from one of the old windows, since the attic had been closed off and sealed over from the inside.
They found picture frame, bottles, and a gorgeous etched round globe (lamp, i think), but couldn't look more because it was getting dark.

At my present house, I found a really interesting fossil, looks like a chunk of rock with fossilized roots, really big in it.

an old friend bought a house in KY and found a ghost.

rubythree
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
rubythree

My husband and I were remodeling an old house (approx. 200 years old)and were fascinated and a little weirded out when we got to the attic. Tucked in many of the rafters were really old shoes. High button shoes of women and children and men's styles, too.
We also found lots of old newspapers and medicine type bottles from the late 1800's and early 1900's.
We took the shoes to a local historian, and he told us that people used to hide shoes in a building to ward off evil spirits. A shoe from each family member was hidden in a concealed place to protect each occupant. I don't know if it is true or false, but it's interesting! Perhaps there really is something to the superstition, because four months after completeing our renevation (and moving the shoes!!!!) our building burned down. TRUE STORY!!

rijell4
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
rijell4

Weirdest thing I've ever found when moving into a new home was in the Lexington, MA area. Taped to the U-shaped bend in the pipe under the sink in the downstairs guest bathroom was a vial of something labeled "amnesia powder." Then we began to receive 'brochures' (addressed to the previous owner)from a Voodoo/magic spell supply house!

Marjorie
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
Marjorie

Oh - almost forgot... in this 'new' house, way back in one of the closets, up on the top shelf, I found a complete set of blueprints, even the 'working' one which is all smudges and worn. cool, huh?

AdrianneAK
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
AdrianneAK

This was not my discovery, but my step-father's:

Background: His father was killed in a truck vs train accident about 25 years ago, the day before Thanksgiving. He raised various fruits and berries in Vero Beach, Florida

My mother HATES pets, especially house pets. Since we haven't spoken for almost 10 years, I find great pleasure in visualizing my mother living in her worst nightmare.

His mother had 2 little dogs who did their business in the house. Oh! And she's COMPLETELY crazy!

About 10 years ago, she sold the property to the 2 remaining boys. Since my step-father and my mother were the closest, they moved into the house and my he began to make repairs. The house was absolutely infested with fleas. In ripping out the carpet, his attention was drawn to a book shelf in a hallway that didn't belong. After weeks of mulling this over in his head, he finally decided that there had to be more to this book shelf, so he took a hammer to it. He opened a hole in the dry wall and discovered that the book shelf had once been a closet. Sitting in the middle of the closet was a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a big black garbage bag in it. He pulled the bucket out an carefully opened the bag. Inside the bag he found the clothes his father was wearing when he was killed. For some unknown reason, the clothing had been returned to his mother and she had walled them up in this closet as if to maintain some control over his spirit.

The only thing I've found in my 1982 house is a mis-laid wire leading from a light switch to a light that the lazy drywall installer didn't bother to move and instead drove a half dozen screws and nails into the drywall (2 into the wire itself) trying to flatten out the bulge created by the wire. OH! and the unidentifiable cast-aluminum float device I dug up in the front yard. It looks automotive but I'm sure it's not a carburetor.

kromano
Re: Buried treasure: Find anything interesting during your last move or demo?
kromano

When we purchased our 1905 American Fousquare, it had been converted into an apartment and offices. While returning the apartment into the kitchen and dining room, we discovered something very odd between the backside of the parlor fireplace and the dining room wall. The top of a red painted wooden ski measuring about 2 feet long! We still haven't figured out how something this size got behind the wall.

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