A family in western P.E.I. recently became the unlikely caretakers of a unique historical record while cleaning out an old barn.

Theresa Martin and her family found a collection of newspaper articles from all over Canada, dating back more than a century. Martin said she and her family were cleaning out her late husband’s workshop when her daughter Bonnie Gaudet made the discovery.

"We just found it, in his workshop," Martin said, "He collected it all, but we didn't know nothing about it. To me they were just newspapers."

The fragile pages of the tattered binder were filled with more than 500 clippings which tell tales of shipwrecks, battles and other historical events dating back more than 100 years.


Theresa Martin with a table full of her late husband's clippings. (CBC)

Martin's husband Leo died three years ago and the binder was preserved in the dark, cool environment of the old barn.

The binder contains articles from Saint John, Montreal, and Toronto, and includes stories of the Halifax Explosion, the sinking of the Titanic and both world wars.

"This one here is the day after the Titanic went down," Martin pointed out.

They don't know where the articles came from, or who the original owner was.  Martin’s husband never mentioned the collection.

It's up to Gaudet and her mother to make sure the collection is protected from the hands of time.

"We would like to preserve it somehow but we really don't know how," Gaudet said.

For Martin, it's a reminder of her husband.

"We'll never forget him, I know that," she said.