There is a lot going on in our house these days…literally. We pulled the trigger on an extensive remodel which will encompass the kitchen, the adjacent office, the adjacent laundry room, and the basement. Additionally, the project will involve a new electrical panel and updating of the remaining knob-and-tube wiring (probably 50% of the house) as well as updating the remaining galvanized plumbing (probably 50% of the house). There was the briefest of moments when I thought maybe just maybe we could stay in the house during the four month ordeal, but Missus Scooter saw to it that I had lost my mind. Alas, we moved out to a rental about 10 days ago.
We have done lots of home improvement projects in our 1912 farm house since we moved in about 3 and a half years ago (Ohana was just 6 weeks old). Mostly we used a handyman that I have used for years who does an excellent job at a very good price. But being that this was by far the largest remodel we’ve ever tackled and the fact that it involves the place we spend A LOT of our time, we decided to do this the right right way. We hired a designer/architecture firm and started having initial discussions with them about 7 months ago. When our plans were solidified, we interviewed three general contractors. Bids were submitted, jaws hit floors, big girl panties were put on and contracts were drawn. This thing was legit.
As we prepared for the remodel to begin, it got me really curious about the history of our home. We live in a fairly historical area in Sacramento, and our realtor told us that she heard that our house was one of the first in our neighborhood. In fact, it was moved from a nearby farming community in ~1912. She said she could have sworn she saw a picture of our old house in the middle of acres and acres of farms from the early 1900’s. We thought this was very cool when we heard it back when we bought the house and we always wondered if we could validate these stories and learn even more. We had always talked about finding that old picture and hanging it. But…we were raising a child then had another, and doing historical research didn’t quite ever make the cut of things to get done.
As February 1 was fast approaching, I did make the research a priority but really came up with zilch. I found a local author who wrote a book on the history of our neighborhood. I found her mobile number and texted her (I know, a little stalkerish), but she didn’t have the history on our place. I heard that there is an archive room at the Sacramento Library and for now this is our most promising lead.
Coincidentally, this morning I had a meeting with our contractor at the house and after we discussed our business, he told me they had found two personal items during the demo process. One was a picture of a woman – no date, no name. But if I were to guess, I would say it was from the 80’s. The other item was a letter written on a 3×5 card from a grandmother to her granddaughter. It was dated July 7 but no year!!! It was cool and frustrating all at once! Here there was a little more history, yet, not really at all. It made me want to know more – who were these people? How did these items get here? Was there any significance?
I got to thinking on my drive into work that it would be so cool to put a time capsule into our walls before new dry wall goes up. I think I have several weeks to get this organized. I would like to include a picture or two and maybe a letter about who we are, what year it is, when we moved in, what we know about the house, what things we have done to the house so far. I was thinking maybe a few current events would be interesting too (front page of the newspaper…?). Ideally, I would love to have done the research on our house and include all of that too, but I don’t know if I can make that happen.
I really see this as our forever home. I can’t imagine us leaving for a very very very long time. But….some day we will no longer be there. That’s just a fact. I love the idea of a little something being left behind. And I think if I was the new homeowner, this would be an awesome find!
Have you ever made a time capsule like this? Or have you ever found a time capsule like this during a remodel or house project? What other things should I include in our time capsule?