Sometimes you get the wrong mail. We always get letters that are supposed to go to the apartment next door. Something we've never gotten in the mail, though, is a postcard from 100 years ago. Brittany Keech of Belding, Michigan can no longer say the same.
On September 8, she received a really odd piece of mail. She said that it "appears to be a really old letter," and then noticed that it was dated October 29, 1920, literally 100 years ago. So Brittany took to Facebook to try to find out everything she could about the postcard and get it to its rightful owner.
"OK so I received this in the mail today," Brittany wrote in a Facebook group called Positively Belding. "It appears to be a really old letter. I would like to get it to them or to a family member. Does anyone know this person? Their first name is missing. Just saw that it is dated for October 29, 1920. Any help would be great!"
Brittany's post got tons of attention, not only from people in the group but from local news stations, and soon, publications as huge as The New York Times.
The post-card is Halloween-themed and seems to be addressed to someone named Roy McQueen. But the address is Brittany's! The postcard reads, "Dear Cousins, Hope this will find you all well. We are quite well but mother has awful lame knees. It is awful cold here. I just finished my history lesson and am going to bed pretty soon. My father is shaving and my mother is telling me your address. I will have to close for a night. Hope grandma and grandpa are well. Don't forget to write us — Roy get his pants fixed yet."
At first, Brittany thought the postcard might be fake, but once she started reading it, she realized that it must be real. "Just by what their letter contained and everything and what's they're saying, I knew that it was more than just, you know, some postcards you can buy on eBay to send as like a general ... greeting to somebody," she told NBC News.
Brittany decided to post in the Positively Belding Facebook group because she knows that there are a lot of families in the area who have lived there for a long time. She never expected that it would get so much attention outside of the group! But thanks to all the feedback, she has a few leads...
"I have a couple of people that have been really helpful in tracking down information on the family," she said. "And when I interviewed with The New York Times ... they had emailed me that someone had contacted them that was a relation to the family.
"So I started talking with her and asked her to send me their genealogy so that I could see their relation and the connection between them." She's determined to get this 100-year-old postcard into the hands of its intended recipient's family.
And in the meantime, she's been able to put her detective skills to work and to rally a community to do the same. It's unlike anything she's ever experienced, and it came at just the right time.
"(It) kept our minds off of everything that's going on with the pandemic, and it gives me something to do," Brittany said of the postcard mission.
"I have not been able to really do much right now besides home-school my son, but it's been nice to have something else in terms of positive talk I'm focused on right now."