Ceiling Letters: The Discovery

Our bathroom had to be completely gutted, but we definitely didn't expect to find anything hidden in the walls.

Our bathroom had to be completely gutted, but we definitely didn't expect to find anything hidden in the walls.

In May of 2016, these letters were found in the ceiling of the bathroom in our house. They range in dates from 1954-1956 and are all addressed to a U.S. army corporal stationed in post-war France. To the best of our knowledge, the letter recipient (Richard, Dick for short) was about 20 years old when he was receiving these letters. He was the son of one of the former owners of our house and when he came back from France, he moved back in with his parents for an unknown period of time. Though it would seem logical that he lived in their house until at least mid-1956 or so because their are no more letters after that date.  

Why aren't you posting the names of the letter writers or recipient?

At this point, I am choosing not to post the full name or other personally identifiable information about Dick or any of the other writers. But hopefully you will enjoy them as interesting primary source documents with or without knowing who they belonged to. The letters provide a small peek into the lives of the post-Greatest-Generation twenty somethings enjoying the peace and relative prosperity of the 1950s.

So, what is the whole point of this then?

Though I expect the project to evolve, right now I'm just thinking of this as a fun project that will show us all a little bit more about what life was like beyond what shows like Mad Men would have us believe. All of the letter writers are painfully earnest and several of the women have gone through quite a bit. Though its true that these letters aren't really "important" in any historical sense, they are still a peek into 1950s dating, love, and correspondence. But at the end of the day, its more about fun then anything else.

Thanks for reading! If you have any more questions, feel free to submit them and I will respond and/or update this page as best I can.