My Own Piece of “Lost & Found”

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One of my favorite possessions is my old school map of the United States.

It is dated 1904 and is loaded with patina (or rips and stains, if you prefer!).

Right now it enjoys a prominent spot on the second story wall of my living room.

It’s one of the first things you see when you walk in my front door, and I can always identify a fellow junker by their response to it.


It’s a fun story where it came from.

The first house my husband and I purchased was a restored 1940’s Craftsman bungalow in a small town in Arkansas.

The lady who lived there before us had spent 9 years renovating this home and had filled it with unique vintage furnishings and décor.

She also had built a shed in the back of the lot that matched the style of the house, and that is where she kept her projects, tools, and such.

When she moved out she left quite a bit of stuff in and around that shed—lots of paint, fence pickets, and a 6 ft tall stack of hubcaps encased in chicken wire (don’t ask, I have no idea!).

About 6 months after we moved in we were cleaning out the shed, and my husband found something rolled up in the corner.

We brought it out into the yard, unrolled it, and discovered it was this awesome map!  Score!

We waited another month or two to see if the former owner would come to claim it, but she never did.

It really had been lost. 


Since then, it has been a central decorative feature in our home, except for a 2-year hiatus while it sat in my dad’s attic.

My husband was getting his masters degree and we were living in tiny apartments and rental houses, so we kept lots of stuff stored at our parents’ homes.

Every so often my dad would threaten to throw it away because it was just a piece of “junk”.  EXACTLY! He just doesn’t share that junker’s spirit with me!


I’ve tried to do some pricing on it, and it doesn’t seem to be worth much.  No matter though, to me it’s priceless.  It has been found and will be a permanent part of our home.

So moral of the story, go check your sheds, garages, and attics. 

You never know what treasures you may uncover!

Have a great day,


Decorating with Vintage Religious Art | Lost & Found

Monday 25th of January 2016

[…] visited, or an event in my life.  I want to see things that make me stop, read, and learn (like my 1904 map), or things that I think are just flat out […]


Thursday 14th of March 2013

You know how I feel about it! I have always thought it was utterly awesome and I thought it might possibly be very valuable. Well, now we know maybe not on the antiquities market but in your hearts and mine! I love it because it's old, has great colors and history. It was probably hung in an old schoolroom and boy, if it could talk what stories it could tell! I like to think it appreciates that you see value in it and that you just didn't throw it away because it was old and tattered. Good job Mel...treasures are all around us, beauty too....some just forget to open their eyes and also look with their heart!

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