NEW YORK - Erica, who has lived in Forest Hills, Queens, with her family since 2010, recently made quite the unexpected, yet extraordinary, discovery while renovating her two-story home. Nearly-century-old memorabilia was hidden deep behind nails, screws, and Sheetrock.
It all started with one hand-written letter to a man named Fred Jacobi in 1929. Erica said she walked into the bathroom after workers had finished up for the day and then found the letter sitting right above the light switch.
When she asked the workers where it came from, they responded, "Out of the ceiling."
"One guy was like, 'There was a lot more paper and a lot more letters.' And I'm like, 'Really, wow, where are they?' And he said, 'In the garbage,'" Erica said.
Erica began sifting through garbage bags to retrieve the once-cherished belongings, which she believes fell out of her attic.
Among the mementos were even more letters, a brochure from the Nagra School of Music, an envelope from the Greater New York Air Corps, a black-and-white photo of a man in uniform, and an old black scrapbook.
"I'm trying to piece together who this family was and how they turned out and what happened in their lives," she said.
Now, social media sleuths are helping Erica to try to track down any living relatives, offering to scan and archive documents and search through historical records. Erica said she hopes she'll somehow be able to reunite these long-lost treasures with their loved ones.