If you haven’t read about the amazing property and reclaiming project at the Elsasser Homestead, go read that HERE for the backstory. This is a fun post to share some of our treasures from that “expedition”.
Just as we were ready to put away our tools, we found the most amazing boards hidden in the renovated walls of the original home. While the guys were removing the boards, tons of saw dust came pouring out (history lesson: saw dust was used for insulation!)
Of course, our first thought was “look for treasures!” And while we didn’t find gold or silver coins, we did find a very neat mining map from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I got sidetracked by the great font on the map, while Maggie started researching. We don’t know yet if any of these mines still exist, but you can bet we will head out on a treasure hunt to see! It’s in pretty rough shape (you would be too if you sat inside a wall with sawdust for 100+ years!) but you can still see the names clearly. I think this will need to be framed soon. The only thing we can find online is Chas. F.O. Merriam, E.M. was a Mining Engineer and a Superintendent for one of the mines and this map was filed with the Registrar in 1906.
Another neat item found in the walls was a bottle of tonic from “Big G”. The label states “For treatment of Catarrhal Discharges or any inflammation, irritation or ulceration of mucous membranes.” That’s kind of a broad spectrum and what the heck are Catarrhal Discharges? Well, come to find out with my sleuthing skills (again, Google), this tonic was used for upper respiratory inflammation. This tonic was manufactured by a chemical company in Cincinnati, OH. Interesting side note, this company also treated Gonorrhea! Can you imagine just getting a bottle of tonic for what ails ya?
Square Nails!!! Okay, I must admit that the beautiful old wood, treasures in the walls and all of the other neat finds were great. But SQUARE NAILS! I was giddy when we saw this. Not only are square nails a sign of a very old building, they are just cool! They are hand forged and each one different from the other. We were able to save close to 100 of these nails and we use them in some of our pieces we are currently making. If you would like something custom made with square nails, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Special orders don’t upset us! (That’s for the older generation).
We’ll share more treasure hunt stories whenever possible. But for now, I have boards to tend to.
From Idaho with love,