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Prescott couple finds old copies of Herald in cabin walls

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PRESCOTT -- Many people have used newspapers in varying ways, ranging from wrapping gifts, swatting flies, starting fires, drop cloths, recycling, lining shelf bottoms, washing windows and more.

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Recently, a Prescott couple found another way newspapers were used: insulation.

It all started when Jerry and Trish Huber decided to remodel their cabin on Poskin Lake, located 10 miles northeast of Turtle Lake, this spring.

Jerry was taking out the paneling on the exterior wall, then the plaster and lath, and what he found next were newspapers glued to the wall.

"Since it was found on the exterior wall, we figured it had to be used as a wind barrier," he stated. "We tried to salvage it as much we can."

What they found were newspapers from Minneapolis, Milwaukee and the Pierce County Herald, specifically an edition from Thursday, Dec. 20, 1894.

"It's weird seeing that we live in Pierce County and to see that pop up," Trish said.

Jerry did some research on the house and found it was built in the 1890s, and was originally built three miles north of Almena as a one bedroom house. It was moved to its present location by Hans Julius Wohlk in 1937 by tree logs. Wohlk also added another bedroom at that point.

The house was added on again in 1969, when another bedroom and living room were finished. The Hubers have owned it since 2002.

After they tried saving as much as possible, the Hubers started looking over what was on the pages.

What was still readable in that Herald edition included advertisements for Ottman and Flanders, promoting itself as a restaurant, fire confections and cigars in Ellsworth, H.O. Junkman, with a location in East Ellsworth, a dealer in furniture, crockery and undertakers' goods, along with cavity and arterial embalming. It was also shown the Herald at the time was printed by the Herald Printing Company under the direction of manager E.S. Doolittle.

What caught their eye the most were the sale prices of items back then. For example, a 3'x5'' imported hand made rug was 98 cents, while the 2x4 version was 45 cents. A children's jacket cost 75 cents, as sun hats were 25 cents. Babies' shoes went for five cents and ladies' rubbers sold for 10 cents.

Along with the sale prices, the want ads were another item worth seeing. A couple of the noteworthy ones (the Hubers were unsure on which newspaper they're from) included: "Nine-room modern home with gas fixtures for $20 per month," and "Good girl wanted, one that understands cooking."

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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