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The Roof As Archaeological Dig -or- Hot Off the Presses

So, since you've likely been here before, you know that we are in the midst of replacing the roof on the house. The job is about 70% done - which is to say, the south side has been stripped of the old shingles and, a few tweaks of gutters and overhangs later, the new shingles are starting to find their way on.

Roofers and dormer

However, in the removal of the old material, the roofers came upon something interesting. Under the old tar paper under the old shingles on one of the dormers, there was some newspaper that had been used for a first layer. The paper dates back to 1906!

1906 newspaper nailed on dormer

The comedy in all of this was trying to get the roofers to take a picture. Apparently none of them had a smart phone with a good camera, so I ended passing up my SLR is totally auto mode. So, while the guy did a decent job, the focus was left to the camera, thus, magnification on this is pretty limited. But the above is at 100%, the ones that follow are zoomed.

1906 newspaper

This has been a very useful find as it gives us a better idea of when the dormers were added, and that is quite a bit earlier than we thought. In a letter between two of the previous owners, the house during this period was described as a "rat hole!" Now, we have pause for thought on just how much earlier these dormers were added and, perhaps, we have an improved opinion of those who owned it at the time!

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