Richards Library is Here to Serve!

The Richards Free Library may be closed, but we are still here to help! As part of #nationallibraryweek, here’s a story you might enjoy.

Last week our Archivist received a request for detective services.

In 1972, 48 years ago, a wallet was found in the Sanbornton, New Hampshire rest area. Although the finder tried to locate the owner at the time, contact was never made. The wallet contained a birth certificate, a Social Security card, and some high school photos. The person who found the wallet kept it all these years, hoping some day to return it to the owner.

Using resources available from our website (Family Search and Ancestry) and starting with the birthplace and birth date of the owner, a family tree was created for the wallet’s owner going back to 1887. With this solid background about the family involved, research was then conducted on the internet. After hitting a few brick walls, the owner, who was 19 at the time she lost her wallet, was contacted by telephone and told her wallet had been found. She was shocked to hear of it after all these years, and with good humor asked, “Did they find the $1,000 I had inside?” The response: Unfortunately, no, but your Social Security number was never stolen!

Here is what the daughter-in-law of the man who found the wallet has to say:

My father-in-law said that one of his crew members found the wallet on the ground in the rest area parking lot. Inside were also photos of high school age boys and girls, mostly looked like yearbook pictures, all with very fond notes on the back. The notes all followed the same format: “to a sweet (or wonderful, or funny) girl,” followed by something about what fun they had doing something, and then a farewell, hope to keep in touch. One boy said he would look her up when he needed “a beautiful secretary.” There was one prom photo, and one photo booth photo of two girls.

The woman asked for my father-in-law’s address, and I’m sure she will soon send a thank you to finish this story for him!

So, please remember that the Richards Free Library is here to serve you in many ways besides providing books, movies and programs. You can still contact us with reference questions, new or old…even 48 years old!

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