Let's hear what types of trinkets, treasures, artifacts and oddities people have found in their old houses. Whether it be in the floors, walls, ceilings, cellars or underground. Post pictures if you have them!
this is a really fun idea!
we haven't found much: a broken button, millions of square nails, a box that once held razor blades, a playing card from a child's game and a newspaper page from 1929. The house was built in the mid-1700's. The floor in one room has a board covered in newspaper from 1941, but there's not much left to read on it as it's damaged and stuck to the floor. The one interesting point to the house is that during the Revolutionary War General William Maxwell lived in our house and owned all of the land around it. According to the local church where he's buried he left documents in the house somewhere but we haven't found them yet.
I have done so may houses, found and collected so many things I can't remember all of them at my age. I have a oak table in front of my front window that I found in a pantry. It is 3 feet long and 14" wide by about 24" high It has 2 small drawers in the front 2' high, for papers or pens. they had it setting on top of a cabinet and nailed in like it was a shelf, right above eye level. When I looked at I never dreamed it was a table. I have a collection of hand made marbles, all clay and slightly out of round colored like old porcelain door knobs. I have cans from 1880 of apple butter and short neck clams. Very nice labels but have been opened with a knife. My prize posession that I found was in an attic under a bunch of papers. I walked on it and heard some crunches. I looked and I found a window. It is a signed Tiffany Co. window. dated 1904. I enjoy it and have moved it with me where ever I go.
Also found a mangled hand forged grill from a cooking fireplace in the basement in NS. And a forged rake head. Squirrel and raccoon skulls. Some really cool pottery fragments. One half of an ox shoe. A small ceramic cow without a head. (actually that was in the stone house in ON) More clay pipe parts. We're still waiting to find the treasure trove of hoarded coins and jewels, lol. That'd come in handy.
I wish I knew where the original crane and trammel went that were in the fireplace out east, but they are long gone, along with the beehive oven door. I did find one half of a saw tooth trammel wedged between floor boards; the straight, ringed side. Maybe the other half will turn up.
We just found this yesterday when workinger had to remove the flooring in the bathroom. We knew the house was built 1898-1900, but here is some proof. Newpaper found in the floor was from Topeka State Journal, Kansas, August 1899, though the house is in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Las Vegas was the major railroad hub during this time frame, so the newspaper probably arrived in a timely fashion.
In process of selling my 1898 Vicctorian that I have lived in for almost 30 years. I never spent time in the loft over the garage as there are no lights up there and I thought the piles of wood up there were all shutters for the ooutside of the house, well we lit it up to do some cleaning and imagine my delight when we found the original screen doors for the front door, they are a little odd IMO as they are double doors and swing open and the front door is a single door. Oh if I had only know they were there years ago, I would have replaced the screen with glass and actually have a storm door.
those are beautiful doors! What an awesome find!
We're thick in Civil War history in our area. Around our 1920's house we've found some old bullets or casings while cleaning up the landscaping. A neighbor a few houses down has found some cannon balls. Aside from that, a mummified cat, a temporary grave marker, lots of glass, antique handcuffs. There's still an old coal burner in the basement that is probably home to a million spiders I'll never disturb. Along with an water heater type thing. Pretty cool.
We've only been there 2 years and haven't restored a thing, so I'm anxious to see what else we'll find.
Thats very cool - I would love to find cannonballs and old handcuffs! Legend has it our house was a garrison during the Revolutionary War and the militia did their drills out in the field. I've taken the metal detector out there but only find parts of old farm tools. I did find a bunch of bullets in my garden area but they are of more recent vintage.
Markings for growth for little girls living in the house in 1889-1913.. They appeared as paint layers were scraped away, about 3-4 layers. It was especially exciting as I'd researched the families that had owned the house. (I may have already posted this)
The old ice chest had been refridgerated and there was an ice cube making system - cube-shaped partitions in the trays. The refridgerant was amonia and it was still in copper pipes coming up from the cellar. The generator for it turned on but wouldn't turn over or we might have kept it. The electritians drilled into it (despite warnings) while putting in new lines and released an amonia cloud which napalmed the garden and yard in back. It looked like it had endured a killing frost and took 2 weeks to recover. I can't imagine their panic! They somehow got the cellar doors opened and then upstairs, the huge four door chest pulled away and got both the iceman's hatch door and the hatch door inside the chest open - how long since they had been opened?
From the attic - an old witch hazel bottle,nothing more besides some strucural surprize$. But it was something to find that the large, attic fan light actually opened on two iron hinges and was only held shut by a small,handmade wooden latch. At the tag sale, I bought ledgers from the late 1700's when the family lived in Uxbridge, MA. In one was a marriage promise and other personal notes.
I found a few things in the attic of our 1885 italianate. We haven't lived here long and it is too hot to explore thoroughly.
An old photo of a lady, nothing written on back, Huffmaster, Hoffmeister family history, though to my knowledge no one by that name lived in the house, a tiny leather-bound pocket book of Tennyson poems, a doll broom (?), not sure about that, a wooden fishing bobber. A very heavy block (maybe a whetstone), Fish and Game laws for kansas dated 1939 and a school district sign for Osage County, which is the county just north of Coffey County where the house is. Lots of old Kansas City Star newspapers dating for 1919 to 1941, though most are stuck to the floor boards, old trim. We also have a mysterious sink hole in the back yard but have not investigated it further.
Probably the most interesting thing I found was the former owners (cherry I believe) sleigh bed that was their wedding gift from the 20's. I also found an aluminum border for the ceiling with wreaths on it and tons of mirrors from various eras.
In 2 of the guest rooms, the old 3 chain style ceiling lights are still there. I actually need to find replacement chains for the one so I can re-hang the glass globe/plate.
Even though it's not really "Old" per say (I was born in the 70s!), but one of the most fun things left behind was an old rotary phone from the 70's that's still hooked up and still works. Even though it's ugly green we kept it for both nostalgic sake and in case the power goes out.
Here's a picture of the postcards our electrician found in our insulation in the attic. They are dated 1891 and addressed to the homes builder, Eugene Lewis...