A Glance Back in Time
Old newspapers discovered in Del Ray home.
In a neighborhood full of old homes like Del Ray, it’s not unusual to hear stories about original owners and the old uses on a property. Most of the time, however, these are just stories—nice to hear and fun to ponder but difficult to prove.
Ed and Julie Walters have heard the stories about their home in the 200 block of E. Del Ray Avenue. They’ve been told what part of their home was built first, what was added at a later date and why the home sits peculiarly on the back of its lot as opposed to flush against the sidewalk like many in the neighborhood.
But the Walters recently gained some insight into the minds of the old owners of their home when a batch of newspapers from the late 1920s was uncovered underneath their kitchen floor.
“It’s not just random newspapers,” Ed Walters said. “It’s like a time capsule. They’ve placed some of the most important newspapers of that time there.”
Roger Segovia of ACAC Wood Floors made the initial discovery. He found the papers after moving an antique hutch to begin work on the Walters’ floors.
Most of the papers are from May and June of 1927. There’s a special section of The Washington Post celebrating Charles Lindbergh’s groundbreaking flight across the Atlantic that year. Another headline references Clarence Chamberlin and Charles Levine making the first passenger flight across the Atlantic.
There’s also a page containing a photo of Detroit Tigers outfielder Harry “Slug” Heilmann, a Hall of Famer who won his fourth and final American League batting title in the summer of 1927. Another page contains an advertisement for hair tonics.
Segovia found an article detailing U.S. relations with his native El Salvador.
“He called when he found the papers and was downright giddy,” Julie Walters said. “He was really moved to find the part about El Salvador.”
Segovia said the papers are the most exciting relics he’s found while digging into people’s floors. He once found a wooden pipe traced back to 1910 at another home.
Ed and Julie Walters plan on placing a copy of The Washington Post documenting President Obama’s re-election underneath the hutch when it is moved back. It will hopefully sit for another 85 years next to the newspapers from the 1920s. The couple also plans on placing a photo of their child to complete the time capsule.