what you might find in your backyard depends on who lived there

April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I was a kid, like other kids I’m sure, there was a time I believed I could dig in the backyard and find some sort of treasure. I don’t think we have any assumptions like that now but Kelly & I were trying to imagine what we might find in their backyard this week…bottles, an old gun, pottery, dead body???

I thought it would be cool to try to learn more about what the people were like who lived in the house since that might shed some light on what we could find. Kelly shared a couple of fascinating resources she got from the previous owner. One is a book compiling all of the historical information of their house including who lived in it and what they did. The other is a book called Haunted Boulder which describes the paranormal activity that supposedly occurred in their house.

One of the documents is an article on the will of the wife of the first people who built the house. She and her husband owned a grocery and confectionary store on Pearl St. What interested me about the excerpt was looking at the “ads” next to the article.

There are all kinds of “cures and remedies” that I would imagine they probably sold in their store. I imagine we could find old bottles from some of these things, like Lichty’s Celery Nerve Compound that ensured a good night’s sleep that would lead to good health & rosy cheeks. Or Krause’s Headache capsule as a hangover cure.

My favorite “sure cure” of the time was the Krause’s Cold Cure: “the busy man of today cannot afford to lie abed a whole day and undergo the martyrdom of the sweating process.” Maybe people weren’t as tough as we thought back then or maybe a cold was a much different thing? It could be likely that we come across some of these old containers, especially given the original owner was rather sickly leading up to her death.

The next owner in 1918 was a miner named Otis Pherson who lived there for 60 years. He was a gold, silver and tungsten miner who managed the Grand Republic Mine in Salida and was known as an honest man. He was also known to be fascinated with electricity and was a “character” who often wrote letters to the Daily Camera. This is where it might not be such a far stretch to imagine some gold treasure he buried away somewhere around the house. Who knows? I’m not brave enough to venture into their crawl space to find out. Previous owners did find mining equipment in the basement.

So far we’ve found nails and a few scraps of metal here and there. I did find a ball of some sort, but I’m not sure what it is exactly. We’ll have to keep digging!

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