the floor guy started sanding my floors yesterday. before i left for work, we both examined the first step to the second-floor stairway (it’s the step you see in the 2nd picture of this post). we agreed that it needed to be replaced: it was cracked in half, the finish was worn down, and there was gunked up paint bordering it from the old trim.

he called me at the end of the day to give me an update. he mentioned that he found a bunch of “neat papers” inside that first step, and that they were waiting for me in my kitchen. i assumed he found a some old newspaper scraps, whoo-hoo, big effin deal. but it was neater than that:

step ephemera

from what i can tell, a little girl named jeanne figured out a way to remove the piece of wood on the top of the stair, and used it as a hiding spot for her special things. a lot of the items had dates on them, indicating that it was early to mid 50′s when she lived here.

step ephemera

dresses for paper dolls, valentines, advertisements, playing cards, drawings, letters… i’ve actually purchased ephemera packages containing the same items. it’s even more fun to find them in your house!

step ephemera

(ugh, we have officially entered that time of year when we have about 1 hour of natural light for photography. apologies for the crappy photos.)

20 responses to “found”

  1. jess says:

    This is the coolest thing ever!
    Suddenly I’m in the mood for some Haddock…

  2. Patricia says:

    What a treasure trove! How cool and romantic is that??? I’m off my sabatical (hopefully for good and am reading all your posts (all 200 of them). You win the busiest blogger award. I salute you Jen, and strive to be like you! Hope all is well, and the pix look good to me….GRRR winter…

  3. Patricia says:

    and by the way- it makes me want to bury a time capsule.

  4. kathryn says:

    that is soooo cool! Makes you wonder what else is hidden in the house!

  5. Meghan says:

    What a lovely surprise! It reminds me of the scene from Amelie where she finds the box of trinkets a little boy had hidden behind a tile in the bathroom. Lucky, lucky you!

  6. molly says:

    wow. that is so awesome. i feel like she left them there for you. and i agree with patricia. i want to start putting little treasures in funny spots in our home!

  7. jenn says:

    Jen – that is just amazing! think of the stories that took place in your house. I can just imaging a young girl running up and down those steep stairs of yours. And spending many quiet moments hiding her treasures in there. do you think she ever thought of them after she moved away?

  8. Kirstin says:

    Oh how fun! It would be cool to know more about her. Great that the flooring guy recognized the cool factor too and took them out for you.

  9. Anna says:

    That is soooo flippin’ spectacular! I love that sort of thing. I think you need to do a collage in homage of her or a little memory book to stay with the house forever.

  10. heather says:

    I have goose bumps. That is sooo neat.

  11. Jaci says:

    Just amazing!

  12. Ayama says:

    wow this is so amazing. the only secret stuff we ever found here were messages from the first owner’s children under drawers in the mid 1970s. love what you found.

  13. Lisa says:

    Wow, secret treasures. I imagine there is a special story behind each item. I like the “Valentine” and what is the “Butch Jenkins” card??

  14. Leslie says:

    Those are such cool things! How fun to find them all these years later.

  15. aimee says:

    this has the makings of a novel! a movie! i wouldn’t have been able to work all day – i would have been obsessed with piecing together the story of that little girl. the only odd thing i’ve uncovered in my own home was an ancient bottle of greek liquor. it was tucked inside an old telephone box in our minneapolis house. wonder what’s in the rest of those steps?

    you win the best post of the day, hands down.

  16. jackie says:

    This is, yes, goosebumpy stuff!! It makes me so curious about why she stashed these particular things. What about them appealed to her? What was the story behind each item saved? What will the big girl that lives in the house now do with them?

  17. kristin says:

    what a great find jen! such treasures underfoot all this time.

  18. jen b says:

    how cool is that? REALLY glad she was a normal child and that was all he found. :)

  19. kim says:

    magical. i like anna’s idea.

  20. peggy says:

    What a marvelous find!! Hold on, I’m going to go check my stairs now……

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