BHCsecmast

 

106 Years Later, Lost Children’s Letters Finally Delivered to Santa

Santa Letter

      

BEVERLY, WV – Santa receives millions of letters from children around the world each year, but four letters delivered to him this past weekend may require a search in the historic archives of naughty-and-nice lists. Forgotten for over a century and uncovered in the renovation of Beverly Heritage Center in Beverly, WV, these browned, fragmented pieces of paper show that it is never too late to believe in the magic of Christmas.

The letters, written in 1912 and 1913 by members of the Woodward family, are believed to have accidentally fallen between the chimney wall and the fireplace mantelpiece where they remained for 106 years. Discovered by staff working to renovate the Beverly Heritage Center, a local museum comprised of several buildings that pre-date the US Civil War, the letters were hand-delivered to Santa on December 1, 2018 by two local children whose great-great grandparents may have played with the original authors.

One of the letters, written on Christmas Day 1912 by eight-year-old Page Woodward, demonstrates the spirit of Christmas giving by putting others before herself. She asks Santa to bring gifts for her parents, her brother, and her three sisters, including a hat for Papa and many things for her brother: “For Reginald a air rifle, a Boy Scout book, a sweater and two magazines, Country Gentleman and Farm Journal.”

Several other letters to Santa are included in the exhibit including a letter from two girls from Clarksburg, WV. They co-wrote their letter in 1910 because, as they explain, “my name is Lanie and I am blind, but my little sister Helen can see.” The girls asked for oranges, violins, a hair ribbon and “anything else you want to bring us.”

In addition to offering a small insight into the lives of people more than one hundred years ago, the letters are also special because children wrote them. “Writings from children rarely survive,” said Dr. Christopher Mielke, who created an exhibit to showcase the letters. “Letters to Santa are especially insightful because children genuinely believe that Santa will read their words himself – values of honesty, generosity, and sharing are at the forefront.”

Although it is unknown whether Page Woodward or her siblings received the gifts they wanted from Santa in 1912, it is clear that their belief in the magic of Christmas remains inspirational even 106-years later.

The letters are on display at the Beverly Heritage Center in Beverly, WV through the end of December.

       

Letter Delivered

    

Letter

BEVERLY HERITAGE CENTER
PO Box 227 / 4 Court Street  -  Beverly, WV 26253
304-637-7424  - 
info@beverlyheritagecenter.org