Victorian shoe found in wall

countryjunkgirlinilApril 27, 2010

While hubby and i were tearing down the library wall in our victorian house, we found 1 victorian shoe, some buutons a pc of material,maybe a part of a dress and a blue velvet pc of trim.There found next to the chimney.We have not closed the wall up yet and have placed them back were they were found. There is stories about things like this. can someone please direct me to it.

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Great find!

Before you close up the wall with the items inside, you might consider taking steps to conserve/preserve/protect the items so that someone in the future will find them still in good condition. That's if you didn't choose to keep the items out (and conserved and stored correctly and perhaps passed along to future owners). Frankly, I'd be tempted to keep them out, for my own pleasure.

I'd take them to the local history society and see what they have to say about dating them. Handle the fabric very carefully.

I'm quite jealous as all I've ever found were old razor blades, small mammal skeletons and mouse poop. But I live in hope .....

If you do replace the items inside the wall, be sure to take pics to keep, and of course, be sure to add some notes about how you found the stuff, and a bit about you and your life in the house. That will make the cache doubly valuable at some future date.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 10:14PM
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Hiding one or more old shoes in a house as it was being built is a very old custom that was widely practiced in Europe, especially England. Usually, the shoes were hidden in a chimney or near a door or window, and were believed to prevent evil spirits from entering. The custom goes back to at least medieval times and was brought to America by English colonists.
Oddly, there are no known historical mentions of this custom until it was documented by an historian in the mid-twentieth century. By the Victorian era, it was not very common.
You should definitely contact your local historical society, and take pictures of the items you found and the location where they were find. (Ideally, you would have taken pictures of the items before they were disturbed.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Wayland Historical Society article on concealed shoes

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 9:34AM
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This was so interesting that I sent the link to the article to friends and family. My aunt wrote back that when her daughter bought their old house, neighbors told her it was rumored that when the previous owner planted the trees, he placed a sliver dollar in each hole.

Thanks for posting this.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 11:29AM
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My business partner was demonstrating to the trim carpenter how crappy his work was by showing him that he could stick a Loonie between the baseboard and the wall. He then accidentally dropped the coin down and lost it.

Maybe around 2090 somebody will find it during a reno and puzzle over its deep meaning!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:20PM
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