Deconstruction, House and Acreage Restoration

Finding Secret House Treasures

I hate lathe.

Oh wait. Did we already go through this?

There is one good thing about lathe in a house from 1900. The secret treasures. A few days ago my dad asked if I had found any secret treasures yet. I was confused. “What secret treasures?”

“There will be secret treasures hidden in the walls. There are always secret treasures in the walls of old houses. People use to shove stuff in the walls.”

So, Friday, when I began tearing down the oldest part of the house, I kept my eyes peeled. It didn’t take long before the treasures began piling up. I felt like an archeologist (in the most minimal sense), uncovering some secret story that the past owner hid in the walls. Why did this stuff get put in the walls? Did this stuff fall down a hole in the ceiling? Was somebody trying to hide their loot from another family member?

As the lathe was pulled down, it became more exciting. From first just finding a Prince Albert Tobacco Tin (then finding two others, somebody liked to smoke and put the tins in the wall-was this a secret habit? Or was this person just trashy?), to finding a 1914 Ladies Journal, to the Country Store pocket book where the people who use to live in our house would keep track of their purchases at the Spirit Lake Country Store, to a shoe. A ladies shoe.  In the wall. A ladies shoe was in the wall. (This house knows me too well-as I do love my shoes!) Even a complete (minus the cover) July 1926 Ladies Home Journal! Here are some of the treasures found in our walls that tell us a little about the people whose home we are inheriting.

Prince Albert Tobacco Tin. Yes, we have Prince Albert in a can. Actually, three of them.


The country store receipt book. (One name is listed in the back-Blanche O of Spirit Lake)
VICKS!!! Still the best treatment for a cold. And now I have the original directions. PS this box says it costs 22 cents.
Georgia Rose Cold Cream Face Powder. I think quite the lady lived here back when this house was built.
The beautiful shoe in the wall from the lady of the house (much smaller than the 8 1/2 I wear). I already love this woman dearly.
A seven page typed story (or real life account) of picking up and/or delivering livestock on the Pedersen Homestead before it was the Pedersen Homestead.
The lady of the house subscribed to a variety of magazines. This is a story inside the July 1926 Ladies Home Journal. Perfectly readable and preserved.
Ladies Journal, 1914. I especially love this article. “Mothers of small children must know how to overlook many things, such a little quarrels, bumps, broken dishes, disarranged furniture, etc.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s