Woman Finds Treasures in the Wall of Century-Old House

A woman has been uncovering treasured possessions hidden inside the 100-year-old house she is renovating—and trying to reunite them with their owners.

Kathy Schroder has been posting videos on TikTok of the incredible finds in the walls of the century-old house, which is in Utah.

Schroder captioned one clip, shared last weekend, "we're finding so much cool stuff," as she filmed herself gingerly extracting an apron that had been scrunched up in a window frame.

She added: "We're renovating this 100-year-old home. We found an embroidered child's apron as insulation in the walls. And a sugar sack."

Numerous social media users commented on the clip, explaining that such fabric scraps were commonly used as insulation in houses of that age.


We’re finding so much cool stuff!

♬ Home - Gabrielle Aplin

Schroder explained that the material had been found during preparations for installing new windows in the 1911 house.

In a follow-up video shared on Sunday and captioned "more thoughtful finds," Schroder showed a magazine, a child's homework and a postcard she had discovered in the house.

"Found in the walls of our 100 year old home. A postcard from 1928 to Gwenna. Life magazine from 1948. A child's spelling list," she wrote.

The card was sent from Denver, Colorado, to a woman named Gwenna Clawson, by a person named only as Evelyn. The message begins, "Dear Gwenna, here is a picture of our Arapahoe school" and the black-and-white photo is captioned "Consolidated School, Araphoe, Colo."


More thoughtful finds in our 100 year old house renovation

♬ The House That Built Me - Miranda Lambert

The spelling list was made up of words such as "this, that, they, them," written in pencil in juvenile handwriting.

The Life magazine—dated December 13, 1948, and costing a mere 20 cents—was covered in scribbles and doodles. The cover story was about Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would later become president, and offered "highlights from [his] crusade in Europe."

Schroder later told her followers that she had managed to track down Clawson's grave. "We just found out where Gwenna's grave is and we're gonna go check it out today. A person in town also sent us a picture of her."

On Tuesday Schroder shared a clip of Clawson's final resting place, as she brought the long-lost postcard back to her.

"We found Gwenna in the local cemetery. She was buried near my parents," she said, filming the modest grave.

She added: "She died in 1939 at the age of 24."

The inscription confirms that Gwenna Clawson was born on September 10, 1914, and died on June 27, 1939. It added that she was the daughter of Alban and Vinnie.

A death certificate matching the name and dates states that Clawson was a stenographer, working at a picture show, and was single when she died. The report indicates Clawson died from liver cancer.

Schroder's videos have amassed many thousands of views on TikTok, with some commenters suggesting a museum might be interested in her finds.

Discussing the apron, however, she said she had been in touch with some relatives of the former owner and might give them the mementos.

"I actually have some of the relatives interested in viewing it and I really might give it to them it means more to them," she added.


We found Gwena in the local cemetery. She was buried near my parents.

♬ Home - Edith Whiskers

The discoveries and the story of Clawson's untimely death provoked a strong response from some viewers, with NeptuneEqueste commenting: "So young but so sweet leaving it at her grave."

"This is so powerful," Genevieve Hayeur posted.

MooshMom wrote about her own similar experience: "Our home was insulated with horse hair and we were lucky enough to meet the daughter of the original family she is 80 years old."

Little suggested the "beautiful" objects should be framed and kept in the renovated house: "Great way to preserve the past and a good conversation starter."

Orthea Henry wrote: "Oh but the signs of such hard times. God bless our grandparents and the trials they went through."

Kristina posted: "If there's a way to, preserve what you find. It's part of history."

Another user admitted: "This made me tear up and I don't even know why."

Newsweek has reached out to Schroder for comment.

Stock image of vintage items
Stock image of vintage items. A woman has found objects including a postcard sent in 1928 while renovating a century-old house in Utah. Studio-Annika/Getty Images