Almost century-old Christmas cards found in Halifax Hospice house
Cards were found behind a mantle during demolition work in July
Demolition work on a Victorian house owned by Halifax Hospice yielded some surprising finds, including almost century-old Christmas cards.
"It was quite a fun and exciting find," said Wendy Fraser, CEO of Hospice Halifax.
Halifax Hospice had hoped two Victorian homes on Francklyn Street by the Atlantic School of Theology could be renovated for use as a hospice, but it came to light the buildings were not structurally sound for the hospice's uses.
Parts of the Victorian houses were going to be dismantled and resold, and that's when the cards were found in one of the houses in July.
There were Christmas cards from the early 1900s, a painting and an invitation for afternoon tea.
The cards were mostly in good condition.
"Most of them were just a little bit dusty, I mean some had a little bit of spots of mould on them," said Fraser.
"By and large, they were actually in pretty pristine condition."
With the homes not being structurally sound, the plan is to build a new 10-bed residential hospice that will incorporate elements from the two houses, such as a stained glass window that is believed to have popped out of the frame due to the Halifax Explosion in 1917. The window will be used as art inside the new building.
Construction of the hospice is expected to be finished by summer 2018, with an opening expected later in the year.
Fraser knows Margaret Casey, the granddaughter of the man who used to live in the house at the time. Fraser said Casey came and took a look at the items.
"She identified some of the items as having [a] connection with her own family, her mother and her grandparents and [she] was able to give us a little more history on them," said Fraser.
'The Halifax of those days'
Casey said she was thrilled to hear about the discovery. She said her grandfather and his family lived there from 1909 until 1937.
"It brings back all of the stories we heard about my mother's childhood and the Halifax of those days," said Casey. "It was really, terribly interesting."
Casey will take a small painting that was found behind the mantle. The backdrop is of Switzerland and she thinks it was done by one of her mother's friends.
Fraser said most of the items will be placed in shadowboxes and used as art in the new hospice.
One of the stranger items discovered was a warped 45 r.p.m. record of the Hokey Pokey from Peter Pan Records.
"It was quite a funny find," said Fraser.