In what continues to be a familiar story, an individual buys a building and finds a treasure trove of artifacts in an untouched area of the building. Attorney David Whitcomb is just that individual. The building he bought in Geneva, NY had a concealed attic that housed many rare photos taken by photographer James Ellery Hale in the early 1900's. One of those photos was of famed suffragist Susan B. Anthony months before her death in 1905. The photo is significant in that it is the photo used as Anthony's official photo at the Library of Congress and is thought to be only one of four in existence.
Now, the 20-by-16-inch photo is being auctioned with a starting price of $5,000.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported Tuesday that David Whitcomb, an attorney and now owner of the building, has worked with an antiques dealer to bring some 350 items that he discovered in the attic, including the historic photograph of Anthony, to auction.
One Source Auctions of Canandaigua will hold the auction Sept. 18, along with an open house the night before. Aaron Kirvan, of the auction house, estimated the found collection could bring in around $100,000 but said it was difficult to know because some of the items are one of a kind.
Anthony was a leader of the campaign for women's suffrage, writing the text of what became the 19th Amendment when it was passed in 1920, giving women the right to vote.
So, if you start buying properties with hidden areas in them you are bound to find something valuable, or unleash a hideous curse. Maybe both!