This is not the first time I have found writing and dates in our house.
When you have a house as old as ours, and dozens upon dozens of owners over the last 126 years, you might expect to find some things of that sort.
The most obvious ones I have found, very early on when we bought the house, was initials and names written in the cement floor of the basement. I don't know when the basement floor was poured; it was many years after the house was built, I am sure. There is a date also, but it is partially obscured by a wall, so I cannot read it.
I also found numerous pencil marks on the underside of some stairs off the kitchen that used to be covered by plaster and lathe and were exposed by the previous owners when they did some electrical work. Some are carpenter's marks, there are also names, including the date of 1886 and also the name of the man who we believe was the builder of our house. I have not been able to photograph these; they are written in pencil and are mostly readable if you have the right light, but not easy to photograph.
This one, however, I just discovered today:
This name and date was written on the backside of the triple chimney that runs up the center of our house, all the way from the basement to the third floor (attic). The name is "J.McNulty" and I think the first number is a "9", followed by "15" and then "04". From our research into the house, we had already been aware that a family by the name of Joseph and Georgia McNulty had owned our house from about April 1904 until sometime in 1906. I think this was written in charcoal pencil.
The picture above I altered the contrast a little to make the letters more visible in the photo. This photo is one that I took and did not alter at all.
This is the backside of the triple chimney in the attic where I found the writing. There is a small window opposite this, which is why there is good light here. The writing is about midway up the chimney, but you can't even see it in this photo.
Today, it just so happened I was up in the attic because, once again, we have a bird in the attic and I was trying to flush it out a window that I opened.
I was "hiding" silently behind the chimney, waiting for the bird to think I was gone, because it hides somewhere when I come up there. As I stood there, bored, looking at the roof, clicking my flashlight at the corners, sweating, staring at the bricks and thinking how old they are and how cool that they are so old.....I saw it, just like that.
It's slightly above eye level for me, but since it was only about a foot in front of my face, I was astonished when I realized what it was. I felt transported through time, as I pictured the gentleman from 1904 standing right where I was, writing his name and date, for posterity, I suppose.
It made for a fun little attic adventure; one that was much more pleasant than what I was actually doing up there. I'm still not sure if the bird got out or not; we're still looking for him.
Thanks for stopping by!