100 Years Later, This Postcard Finally Reached Its Destination

Noble Horvath

A postcard that recently arrived at a home in Michigan really gives new meaning to the term “snail mail”—the message showed up 100 years late. © Cindy Ord/Getty Images A person puts a letter into a USPS mailbox during Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread […]

A postcard that recently arrived at a home in Michigan really gives new meaning to the term “snail mail”—the message showed up 100 years late.



A person puts a letter into a USPS mailbox during Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 23, 2020 in New York City.


© Cindy Ord/Getty Images
A person puts a letter into a USPS mailbox during Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 23, 2020 in New York City.

Brittany Keech, who lives in Belding, Michigan, told local news outlets that she found a postcard marked with her address sitting on top of a stack of mail. Ironically enough, the postcard was Halloween themed, which perhaps seems a bit early since we’re still in September, but considering the year it was initially mailed, we’ll allow it. The postcard was dated for October 29, 1920, with a one-cent stamp depicting George Washington in the top corner. In case it’s not clear, the piece of mail arrived long after the home’s previous owner was gone.

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“I start looking at it and I’m like, ‘Okay, it’s been through some wear and tear,'” Keech told reporters on Wednesday.

The postcard, sent by a woman named Flossie Burgess, was addressed to someone named Roy McQueen. Although the postcard certainly looked old, the cursive handwriting written on the back of it was still legible.

“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,” the message read.

Keech shared the message on Positively Belding, her neighborhood community board on Facebook, with hopes that someone would recognize the names and connect her to McQueen and Burgess’ families. “This might be something that their parents can say, ‘Yeah, I remember when your great-great grandma would tell me stories,” she said.

Although Keech thought the postcard may have been lost in the mail for all these years, a USPS spokesperson claimed that that’s unlikely.

“In most cases these incidents do not involve mail that had been lost in our network and later found. What we typically find is that old letters and postcards – sometimes purchased at flea markets, antique shops and even online – are re-entered into our system. The end result is what we do best – as long as there is a deliverable address and postage, the card or letter gets delivered,” the spokesperson told Michigan’s WXMI News.

Should Keech be unable to find relatives of the letter’s sender or recipient, she said she plans to hand the postcard over into a local museum in Belding.

The oldest picture postcard in the world, which featured a Penny Black stamp and addressed to a person named Theodore Hook in London’s southwest neighborhood Fulham, was sitting in a museum in the U.K. before it was sold off in auction for nearly $37,000 back in 2002.

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