Old house holds surprises, historyVirginia Clink knew her older home in East End was going to need some work when she bought it two years ago. She hired a contractor to install new windows, doors and siding on the house.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Virginia Clink knew her older home in East End was going to need some work when she bought it two years ago.
She hired a contractor to install new windows, doors and siding on the house.
However, she was in for a surprise when it came time to insulate the walls.
Someone had tried to insulate the walls against the wind.
There, she and her son David found bits of wallpaper and scraps of news of days gone by used to stave off the cold.
Not that it was terribly effective — the wind blows right through the house, Virginia Clink said.
Her son, David Clink said in spite of the thermostat set to 70 degrees, the warmest his mother’s room got was 63 degrees last winter.
“According to the paperwork I have, the house was built in 1890,” Clink said. Now, she wonders if that was merely a guess. After all, newspaper found in the wall was dated 1894.
“I know it has been here since at least 1894,” she said, pointing to the date on a pieced together and nearly intact front page of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The deeply yellowed and brittle paper sported the date July 15, 1894.
Clink said she spent hours piecing together the scraps of newspaper to read the stories contained on the makeshift insulation.
“We’d be kind of interested in seeing the rest of this article,” Clink said, pointing out an article in which — despite prohibitions against gambling and drinking — a judge was participating in both in a club.
Another story denotes an incident at 1219 Tower Avenue in Superior in which a man — moving a barn — was injured but was expected to recover.
“It’s just amazing how they insulated the house back then,” Clink said of the find.
It’s not the first time the Clinks discovered old newspapers in the walls either.
While remodeling a house on Hammond Avenue about 16 years ago, David Clink said they were taking stuffing out of the walls to install actual insulation when they uncovered newspapers in the wall there too.
Now, they’re curious about what other surprises they may find as they proceed with their work.
“That’s just out of one wall,” David Clink said. “We’ve got two more to tear apart.”