cleaning out the attic of an apartment house I own in the
historic district, I came across a box belonging to a
previous owner. A couple who bought the house in the 1930s
for rental income, and later lived there, after retiring in
The box contained two custom leather-bound albums from the
husband's retirement party (imprinted with his name, and full of
letters and telegrams of congratulations), a box of personalized
Christmas cards, his railroad pension papers, and lots of family
pictures dating from 1890 to 1970..As a family historian, I felt a
duty to rescue these items and get them back to their rightful
family. So when I got home, I did a little genealogy work to find
out what happened to them.
Turns out the couple went to a nursing home in the 1980s and the
house was sold in 1990, after their deaths. They had two children
and four grandchildren. I was a bit heartbroken to see that the son
had died just four weeks before I discovered the photos, and the
daughter passed away the year before. Both were in their mid-80s.
But by the end of the night, I was able to locate a
great-granddaughter living in North Carolina, and contacted her on
Facebook. Here is her reply -
Sent him my cell number, and told him to call whenever
he's in the area. A few weeks went by without any word, so I
called and left a message on his voice mail. There was no
response. That was almost two years ago.
Last week I was cleaning up at the apartment house again, this
time in the basement, and uncovered a second box of old photos
belonging to this family.