Small town life definitely works in my favor in my current position, and a recent phone call reminded me that having connections all over the county makes my job a lot easier.
More than a month ago, I published a column titled “Former Linton man curious about piece of history.” After receiving the email from Linton native Donald Hurt, I, too, was curious.
To give a brief recap, Hurt remembered the time when he was growing up in northwest Linton when the neighborhood went together to put together a time capsule in the late 1940s or 1950s. A neighbor was redoing his porch, which is where the makeshift time capsule was buried.
“When I was in Linton last September, several houses on (the) street have been torn down and several more are in very poor condition. So my hope is that someone can locate this piece of history before it is busted up in the rubble of a demolished house and hauled off to a dump some where never to be found again,” Hurt said, as to why he shared this story.
I compiled the information into a column, essentially putting a callout to anyone who knew information about the time capsule which was placed in the concrete poured in the steps of the porch. I purposely left out the address of the time capsule, but I knew the address of the house in question.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, I got a phone call from an old friend of my mom’s, Donna Spears. I’ve known Spears about half of my life. She worked with my mom at a local nursing home, where I also spent my summers volunteering as a teen.
Spears said she helps to care for a woman who knew Donald Hurt and lived in the same neighborhood for a lot of years. Juanita Shanklin-Folkerson grew up next door to Hurt. While she had left the neighborhood in 1946 -- before the time capsule was put into place -- Folkerson wanted to offer me insight into the neighborhood in which I had asked about. She showed me photos of the neighborhood and told me about every person who lived in the houses around her.
The best part was the fact it turns out Spears is the person who now actually lives in the house where I was told the time capsule was buried. She started renting in 1992 and has since purchased the house. When I sat down to speak with the 97-year-old Folkerson and Spears, neither were aware that she was the current resident of the house several people were very interested in.
Spears said a few years ago, as part of a home renovation, they tore out and replaced the steps of the house. She only found a crushed, empty jar. But, she said, the porch is still in tact and has a mismatched section of concrete in the middle.
“Someone can come and dig it up if they want, they just have to replace it,” Spears said with a laugh.
Hurt said his goal for reaching out to me at the paper was to ensure someone didn’t tear down the house and destroy a piece of history. His goal was reached, as the homeowner is aware of the hidden treasure and will ensure it is not destroyed while she lives in the house.
We will have to wait a while longer before the treasure is revealed, though.
Sabrina is the editor of the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.