Chicopee man finds vintage bottle behind wall during home refurbishment
CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - What are the odds of finding a nearly 100-year-old object inside of your home? That is exactly what was discovered by a homeowner in Chicopee who lost his house in a fire a couple of months ago.
Nick Garcia, his family, and other tenants lived inside a home located at 15 and 17 Sitnik Avenue in Chicopee. However, on January 31, a fire gutted the property.
“I just came home to a house fire. I got a call from my girl [wife] while I was picking up the kids and it was caught on fire,” Garcia said.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the fire. While he and his family has been displaced, Garcia has spent the last month and a half doing his own demolition with some help with hoped of refurbishing the home. This past weekend, though, he and one of his buddies made an unusual discovery: a message in a bottle in one of the last standing walls.
“My buddy was digging a pile up and he just pops up with a bottle. We just check it, signed by Jacob Sitnik, the guy who used to own the street and dated 1924…I was just kind of amazed. Everybody was looking at it, interested, and we started seeing the dates and the signature. It was just pretty cool,” Garcia noted.
Inside the bottle was a counter check from an old bank called Cabot Trust Co. and after doing some research, Garcia told Western Mass News that Sitnik was a trustee at that bank. The homeowner showed the bottle to others at the city clerk’s office and it also drew interest from the mayor.
“He’s going to get me in touch with a Chicopee historian here, one of the biggest ones I guess, so I’m waiting for his call back. I went down to the library and I’m waiting for their call back. I’m just trying to see what this is about in the middle of us trying to get my house done,” Garcia added.
It is unclear what the entire note says, but if what is inside the bottle is worth any money, Garcia told us that would really help.
“It looks almost like a receipt of the house when it was first built. If some money can come with it, hey, I’ll take it. Anything will help nowadays,” Garcia explained.
If no one decides to take possession of the bottle, Garcia plans to keep it as a souvenir. As for the house, his goal is to have it completely refurbished by Thanksgiving. He also told us he is looking for a nonprofit organization to sponsor him to help with getting donations from the local Home Depot for the property.
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