Sunday, March 8, 2015

Treasures from the Past

We've always had a joke in the family about "the basement." Whenever someone goes down there for something they always make sure to notify someone with the words, "If I'm not back in five minutes, send out the search team." Well, now that mom is moving to an independent living facility, the cleaning process has begun. They saved EVERYTHING! Above are two things I found that I consider treasures. I also found a Valentine card that my dad (who just passed six weeks ago) made for my mom in their early days. She's going to frame it and hang it in her new bedroom.

Check out these eyeglasses! My mom said they belonged to my great-great-grandmother. I researched them online and they date back to the late 1800's and early 1900's. A few things I found interesting:

1. They are very tiny. They measure just over four inches across.

2. There are no sides to hold them to the side of the face. The nose piece is what holds them on. Yes, I tried them on, and it was not easy to keep them there.

3. Notice the phone number on the cloth, it has five digits!

I also found this old mortgage receipt book from when my grandpa bought his house in 1950. Notice the amount of the loan.......$3505.75. And how would you like a house payment of $33.18 a month? My how times have changed! I also remember that house because I spent a lot of time there as a child. It was a very nice house. It is actually still there although it's been remodeled. When I asked my mom about it she told me that he had the house built and he paid separate for the land. But still, wow!

The clean-out will continue and I can't wait to see what other treasures we find. I'm sure there will be a few.


  1. Those are awesome. I've never seen glasses like those before.
    I would take that mortgage payment. My dad had paperwork from his house and how much it cost him to build it. It was just amazing how low the price was but at the time it was a lot of money to him.

  2. What treasures! And how nice that the valentine will be framed for your mom's new room.

  3. Those are great finds! I love discovering little bits of family history in the basement. My parents have a lot of things from the Midwestern bunch at their house, including my great-grandmother's pedal foot sewing machine. It still has all of the thread and findings in the drawer.

  4. To me, looking at such relics is both pleasant and painful. Now, that my mother's parents are dead, I often feel a tingle of pain when I suddenly see something which belonged to them. Often you just do not notice, casually moving things and tidying papers and old photos in the cabinet, and then suddenly you see - you really see - and stop for several long minutes. A photo of grandmother when she was younger than I am now... or my grandfather's souvenir from some trip... I miss them, and I still have to learn to cope with the fact that people die and I am not going to see them. But that does not mean that I want all the relics to go away. I do want to remember! ...And, on the brighter note: your finds are most lovely! Those tiny glasses could almost be converted into a piece of jewelry. And of course estate prices and 5 digit phone number look shocking now! Please share more treasures!

  5. I wonder what you'll come up with too. Finding that treasure of a valentines card must have been awesome!

  6. Oh, You are going to have a blast going through that basement. I can only imagine the treasures you will uncover. How funny that glasses did not have arms back then. That would drive me crazy!

    I believe my grandparents paid a something similar for their home back in the 1940's. When they finally sold it a couple of years ago, it went for $500,000 (the MA market is crazy high). That was quite an investment! Unfortunately real estate no longer has that sort of turn around. It is fun to look at older registers like that. I'm sure you will find many more!

  7. I love looking at old things and documents. Old paper has a special smell and ink inscriptions are very romantic. Good finds!


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