Sunday, October 31

hidden treats

My husband has been cleaning out the old fiberglass insulation in the eaves of our attic, and tucked beneath it all he's found some of the history this house holds.  Maps from National Geographics in the '40's, which are in great condition.  I see some books and collage work in their future!!  He found a number of mud wasp nest beginnings, and a few odds and ends we can't identify, but a whole lot we can as well! 
Click on photos for closer view.

A sample custom made leaf for some curtain rod ends;

Tally-Ho playing cards,
actually printed in New York;

and financial and insurance statements from 1932-34 for a Dr. Ernst Gundelfinger and Alice (née Hirsch) Gundelfinger.  With a quick online search, I found them both in someone's family tree records!  They were married in 1922, while the completion to the building of this house was in 1923, so I'm wondering if they may have been the builders, and if this was their first home together!  I also found references to Alice as the vice president of the New York Society of Craftsmen in 1957.  By then her address is listed as being on Central Park Ave in NYC, but I wonder if the very old, and beautiful easel I found, in our attic when we first moved here, was hers.  Can a house attract similar kinds of people over the years?  Dr husband, artist wife - I wonder what they'd think of our attic renovation becoming an artist studio!  
Most of the banking papers are Alice's, c/o Angelo Hirsch - perhaps her father? One draft from "The Chase National Bank" of the city of New York, dated May 5, 1932, is for $1,936.00, so she was obviously pretty well off, in her own right.  These were all in her maiden name, though dated 10 years into her marriage.  When I first was going through them I thought she and Dr Gundelfinger may have been from different periods in the house, because the names were different, but later I found some for Alice Gundelfinger as well.  Perhaps they were inheritances from her family.  One was "in settlement of this account by draft on Zurich to American Express Co in Zurich..." anyway, I'm amazed at what can be found in about 5 minutes of searching and reading online!  Both Alice and Ernst lived long lives - he until the age of 85, and she was 92.
The blue sheet of paper is a list of freshmen classes at Yale, in New Haven CT.  It's signed by Paul Talmey, with checked off classes he's chosen in the school year 1926-27.  Could be that his family was the first to reside here - I don't know.  I couldn't find anything, other than a very current Paul Talmey in Colorado.  I'll have to get into the city records to figure out everything about this old house!
And now changes are being made and we are making our own history.

The stucco is on, and the roof is complete!
It's hard to see, but the new dormer roof is a standing seam copper roof.
Next spring the the whole house will be painted, so the windows will get the blue trim, and the walls will all be the same color, but I think they did a good job getting the stucco texture to match, so when it's painted it will all blend and look like it's always been this way!

I don't have anything new to share inside, things are looking much the same.
Tomorrow insulation begins getting sprayed in,

which will probably take all week.  Once they finish, the walls can go up and things will begin to pick up.  Walls, lights, built ins, radiant heating in the floors, the floors themselves, bathroom tiling, and lots of finishing details...  
I think we'd be lucky to see completion by Thanksgiving.

I can't be tricked :)


  1. Oh Karin, what a treat! Things like this really excite me. Wow! I love to find things that you'd never expect to find. It's always so interesting knowing about other people's lifes and how they lived and what they did. Man, money can't buy that. I'm loving the way your studio is progressing and I can hardly wait till it's completed and you can show us. You know we've lived here in this old house for over 20 years and we also tore down the walls and added new sheet rock and renovating the kitchen, etc. What I did though before the walls went up was add a big plastic bag with pictures of all our family, names, a few dollars, newspapers, and other things so that one day someone will find our treasures. Oh wow Karin, I am just mesmerized and happy that this event has also filled your mind with ways of finding out more info about the past and it's people who lived in your home.Good luck. I hope you are doing good. Take care and good Halloween to you. I'll be posting my Dia de los Muertos later this evening. Take care and thx for this exhilirating post. Now back to the studio for me and moving cabinets around.

  2. What fun treasures to have found, Karin ! Very cool too, to know the history of your house. Looks like you and your own Doc are doing a great job added ti the good history of the place.
    I hope this week has you feel a little btter physically too.
    Big Love !

  3. Wow Karin....such amazing finds!!!! The house looks fantastic. What a joy to discover so many hidden treasures. especially for one such as you who truly appreciates them!


  4. Karin,
    A wonderful treasure to find..I know your husband was excited to find the history..How exciting to me any way..I love the old things and history..Your home is beautiful. Your studio..I can not wait to see it's progess..
    I pray that you are having good days.
    love and hugs and blessings.

  5. what wonderful treasures! and what fun in the finding! you can learn who, what when and where if you have the patience. how grand. I wish you would draw a diagram of your house. It looks like it has changed some over time! have fun detecting and keep us posted!

  6. I am so happy you have unearthed such a rich history of the people who lived in the home you are rewriting the latest chapter. The house looks great and the blue trim is like icing on the cake. I look forward to seeing you create your books with these artifacts. Continue on your journey to wellness and rest rest rest...the spirit will guide you back to your sacred marks. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  7. "Can a house attract similar kinds of people over the years?"

    karin, you ask the best questions. this is the second or third time you have posed something that to me is so interesting i stop in my tracks and think.

    i love this kind of living history. i'm am sure there is a bond between artists here, and i suspect it will make itself known to you. how exciting.

    in my house, frances and beleauh built the house in the early 1950's and raised their three daughters here. i could feel them both for the first year we moved in.

    and in my house before that, well, that's a story i just may write about now that you've got me thinking :)

    i am so glad to know the studio awaits you. that is good.


  8. Finding stuff, to me, is the best part of an old house. Glad to see it moving on!


  9. How very exciting to find such treasures and to find details about these people online.
    much love darlink!

  10. Amazing...Can you say Synchronisity?! Wow, stuff like that blows me away. And I'm sure Alice would love what you've done with the place.

    On another note, I haven't been blogging much these days but I do check up on my favourites from time to time and I hope your healing comes at a fast pace so that you can fully enjoy your beautiful surroundings.

  11. What a cool find and surprise!

  12. How fascinating! I love treasure hunts, and it's great that you could find so much info on Ernst and Alice. I bought my house from an old man named Herman, but he didn't hide things for me to find. He thought it was his duty to clean everything up before I moved in. What a shame! LOL Seriously, he was a sweet man, and I think I've lived in the house happily because he lived here first. I hope the same is true for you following Ernst and Alice's footsteps!

  13. Your home is so gorgeous, more so with you in it! Like attracts like- I have never felt comfortable in this house where we live now- after 23 years I am sort of used to it but do not call it "home". Your historical finds - priceless and so lucky!

  14. Great finds, Karin!! Your house looks fantastic!! I hope you are doing well.

  15. Tallk about some great finds!!

  16. how cool, I hope you will keep us updated on your detective work. Hope you re well today, sending you my love! No deep thoughts tho... brain still fogged with bronchitis fatigue!

  17. wow, how cool to find those's like discovering old stories and memories...very cool!

  18. How exciting that your studio's moving forward so quickly! I love all the old stuff you found- the mystery and the history- what fun! Your house is beautiful, too!

  19. I dream to find old secrets in the attic ...... not that we have an attic :-)
    Your house is looking amazing!
    Soon ... soon... you will be creating art in that beautiful new studio.

  20. I can NOT believe John found all that great stuff! Our house is over 100 years old - but when we redid the attic not a scrap was found! I can certainly see a future for all the items - and your studio:)

  21. It as so interesting to read all about your finds and the people associated with them.....can't wait to see what you do with them....

    Your house is wonderful and I know you are going to love the added space.....

    I pray you are having good days....

  22. what fabulous treasure!!! sorry it took me so long to stop by!! how exciting to have a gorgeous new studio!!! xo

  23. Your home is glorious, and your amazing treasures form the past are so exciting... have a wonderful weekend. I am off to take another look at your house! roxanne

  24. I am so inspired by your journey- your courage- your spirit. Wow. I wish that I knew something about the people who long ago lived in my old house.
    What a wonderful blog.

  25. isn't that a fantastic surprise! what a treasure!

  26. so much good work is happening. great to see it! blessings, enjoy!

  27. What FUN!
    my husband and i live in a how that was built in the 1930's and we have found some fun 'bits' outside, like toy soldiers, marbles, metal cars, etc. terrific for me, as i work in assemblage, and have been able to use many of these 'finds' in my work.

    i really enjoyed visiting your blog.

  28. hello karin, i'm back!!!!
    i'm just stopping by to see if the coffee's hot and how the studio's coming along.

    oh, and how you're feeling. i hope the feeling part is not as hot as the coffee and is as encouraging as the studio

  29. thanks everyone! sorry i haven't been around and responding to comments lately - I'm having a hard time keeping on top of everything. Between med adjustments and construction challenges I have little energy for the computer.
    The insulation was finally completed - boy, was that a messy process! Imagine living in a virtual snow globe for a week, and with the cooler temps and electrical static on the rise, now imagine those little snow globey pellets flying around and sticking to everything and everyone, and transferring through out the house, pets, etc!! Plaster dust will be next... missing you, my art, and a secure sense of routine!!
    xoxox Karin

  30. This is all so exciting. I love the history and how it parallels to your own xj

  31. Ha! What a lucky find.. everything is brimming with stories, it wonderful. Can't wait to see what you do with the stuff you found. Hope you are well. Hugs.

  32. Happy Thanksgiving. Wonderful finds. Hope U tuck some notes in too before wallboard goes up. Someone new will renovate.


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