Living in a nearly 300 year old house, my husband and I are always hoping to find some hidden treasure in our house. It doesn’t have to be treasure in the “someone hid a box of gold in our floorboards” sense, but something old, something interesting, a box of historic letters would be cool. Sadly, in 3 years of ownership we’ve not found treasure. There are some very old license plates wedged somewhat permanently into a crevice in our basement, but that’s about it.
But! A few weeks ago my husband and I got the bright idea to pry open the door on one of our old chimneys. The chimney itself was long ago cemented off, but we had a thought that maybe we could rebuild it and put another wood stove out there. Plus, I’m insatiably curious. If there’s a door, I want to open it. If I can’t see something, I want to peek. So with pretty minimal convincing (my husband shares my desire to peek inside things) and some WD-40, we opened her up.
Perhaps not entirely surprisingly, what we found inside was A LOT of ash. I had just mopped our mudroom, so that was a FANTASTIC time to choose to dump pounds and pounds of old ash all over the floor.
Just as I was thinking this was the dumbest idea I’d ever had (it was close), I found a odd packet of unburnt, folded newspaper. The paper was so old and dry it essentially crumbled to dust as I tried to unfold it. But we managed to salvage enough to see that it was a salacious tabloid from the 60s. Lots of scantily clad and naked women (I’ve left those photos out!), stories of wild sex orgies, and blaring headlines about Beatniks.
So, still no buried treasure, but interesting nonetheless! And now we’ve been able to wonder about who put these there, and how, since they were above the wall of ash, and why. I’m guessing either the previous owner of our house, or one of his teenaged (at the time) sons. Always fun living in this house!