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Funeral Home Finds

What we Have Found in the Walls and Ceilings so Far!

It’s been really fun going through, what we have coined, our Funeral Home Finds!  Most of the items have been uncovered during the demolition of interior walls.  We have filled up an entire box of peculiar items.  When we first took over the building, we had discovered many left behind objects used for the business of funeral homes, and many of those were a bit creepy.  Some of the oddity behind these new items, is the fact that they were, for some reason, buried within walls or in the rafters.  This has made our renovation process quite fun, wondering what we might find next.

When we purchased and renovated the old Texaco gas station, which houses our Gallery, Store, and Airbnb, Nathanael coined the phrase, “What once fueled cars, now fuels the arts.”  And this phrase has stuck, because it’s so true!  Our new building was originally two homes that were attached together and added onto to create the funeral home.  Nathanael thinks the slogan for the Collective should be… “We’re putting the home back in funeral home.”  -I don’t get it.  He tried to explain it to me, but it still doesn’t make sense!

Isaac pulling old newspaper articles from the ceiling.

Many of the walls that we have gutted were part of the very original buildings that got walled over.  We love the story behind things, and Nathanael especially loves finding items that capture a time period.  Many of these items take you back to the early 1900’s, which is pretty neat.  Behind the wall of the old bathroom, we found the paper packaging for an original Edison light bulb.  We also discovered an old newspaper article from 1931, with an ad for the all new and improved, automatic clothes washer, with a drawing of the model.  In the ceiling we found old linoleum dating from that era as well. In the ceiling of the basement, we discovered a stainless steel dish, with surgical type instruments inside.  -That definitely hit the creepy meter, and we did a live instagram on that, which you can find on our page @annabaileyart.

Many different glass bottles were found, and  a few could still be traced to their origins.   One such bottle was an old whisky bottle, with it’s packaging still intact.  An old glass medicine bottle from the old Mesabe Dispensary, with the medication label attached was found, and pill boxes from that same era.  We found a prescription pill box, made of just a little cardboard box, dated November of 1929. Even old tins of balm, with balm still inside, were discovered.  The worst of the finds were old black and white snapshots of scantily clad women in the ceiling, which we’re guessing were probably meant to be hidden!

There were some items that we couldn’t even figure out what they were used for.  One such item was a peculiar, cylindrical metal piece with a lid that comes off.  It looks like it may have been a cigarette holder, but we’re not sure.  There were even decades old cough drops, still in their sleeve, and I dared Nathanael to try one!  -So of course he did!  Gross!  It was crunchy, yet cough drop like!

These finds were fun, because they dated back before the funeral home came to be, and were left in the walls when the two homes were adjoined to create the funeral home business.  The curious, inquisitive part of us that appreciates the nostalgia of it all, enjoys the discovery of these finds as a perk to the dirty process of turning something old into something new.  As we transform this building into its new purpose as the Bailey Builds Collective, we can’t help but appreciate the history in the journey.

Check out our recorded chats about all the funeral home finds on our instagram tv, on our page @annabaileyart. Be sure to check out all of the photos of our team and their finds below!

Morgan with a “Straight Kentucky Whiskey” glass bottle.
Matt with an old matchbox.
Isaac with a box of matches. He picked it because it was “lit”
Cass with a mystery item. We have a hunch it’s a cigarette holder.

These finds were fun, because they dated back before the funeral home came to be, and were left in the walls when the two homes were adjoined to create the funeral home business.  The curious, inquisitive part of us that appreciates the nostalgia of it all, enjoys the discovery of these finds as a perk to the dirty process of turning something old into something new.  As we transform this building into its new purpose as the Bailey Builds Collective, we can’t help but appreciate the history in the journey.

Keri with a bag of toe tags. Nathanael with a stainless steel dish with surgical type instruments inside. Alex with a Fitger’s GingerAle bottle cap. Check out our recorded chats about all the funeral home finds on our instagram tv, on our page @annabaileyart.