Our first weekend in the house was a busy one. Chandler’s parents came down to help with the demolition, so we got a surprising amount done.
The house is divided into two areas, the front and the back, by a set of stairs. The front of the house is divided by a partition wall and the back of the house is divided into the kitchen and a bedroom. We immediately went about tearing down the kitchen/bedroom wall and the partition wall.
Under the drywall, wainscoting and layers of wallpaper, we found lath and plaster walls. While this form of construction was used until drywall was introduced in the 1950s, our walls were much older. The evidence was in the cut nails used to attach the lath to the studs. Cut nails were manufactured from the 1820s to the 1910s.
As Steve was tearing into the lath and plaster, something came out of the wall besides spiderwebs and mouse nests. Hidden in the wall was a time capsule! The actual container and most of the newspaper was destroyed by critters, but the other items were intact enough to identify.
Among the debris we found the core of a baseball, a small clock, a lady’s shoe and an American flag with 43 stars. Chandler found a piece of a newspaper dated August, 1893 containing an article describing achievements of President Hayes, who had recently passed away. We were told the house was from the early 1900s, but the artifacts show part of it was built a bit earlier.