A Valley News Publication

(Originally posted Tuesday, March 13. Updated on Thursday, March 15.)

Photo courtesy Jenn Carter.

West Lebanon resident Jenn Carter has made a pretty neat discovery in her kitchen ceiling — letters that are more than 90 years old! — and now she’s trying to return them to their rightful owners.

Here is what she posted on the Upper Valley VT/NH Facebook page (w/ light editing by me):

Hi, Upper Valley … So here is an odd one and probably a long shot.


I am remodeling my kitchen in West Lebanon. During demolition, many very old letters were found in the ceiling. They are from Miss Laura S. Johnson, of West Lebanon, to Harold B. White, of Brattleboro, Vt. The letters I have gone through are postmarked for various dates in 1925 & 1926.


I think I found the right Laura through the 1910 & 1920 Census. It appears that she passed in 1998 and is buried at the West Lebanon Cemetery. I was hoping she might still have family in the Upper Valley as I would love to return these letters to them. Please message me if this may be someone you knew.

Jenn later called them “super sweet love letters.” Awwww. <3 :’)

You can contact Jenn at her original post, OR comment below or email me at mcassidy@vnews.com and I will pass along the message.

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UPDATE #1 (TUESDAY): A woman has come forward as the couple’s granddaughter!

That seriously took less than 30 minutes. The Upper Valley is small and the internet is fast.


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UPDATE #2 (THURSDAY): Jenn Carter reunited the letters today with two of Laura Johnson’s and Harold White’s granddaughters, Theresa White, of White River Junction, and Shannon Kivler, of Charlestown.

They are waiting to open all of the letters until they can be read by the couple’s last living daughter!!!! So exciting. We are thrilled for everyone involved. Look for a photo in Friday’s Valley News.

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UPDATE #3 (FRIDAY): Photos and an editorial!

Valley News chief photographer Jennifer Hauck was there for the handoff, and the VN editorial board also weighed in on the magic of these letters. Photos here & editorial here.