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Buried Treasure!

First off, a gigantic thank you! to all who participated in our Very First, Very Official Reader Survey! The results are in, and – not that we’re surprised – it turns out that you guys are just as awesome, funny and curious as we suspected. (We literally LOL’ed many, many times as we read and re-read your responses!) We’ll have a recap, a rundown, and a big ol’ stack of answers to your questions and inquiries in the coming days.

Survey aside, you all know we’ve been up to our ears in new house stuff for the last few weeks. We’ve closed on the new place, have lined up a wonderful couple to rent this home of ours, and we’re beginning to stockpile some treasures for the new studio and our big new garage (my favorite part!). All that said, every hard-working man needs a weekend diversion and my diversions usually involve bicycles. When the weather isn’t great for riding, I can often be found lending a hand building and maintaining our trails at The Garden Dirt Jumps, a bike park that my friends and I have been building top of the remains of a defunct Chicago amusement park for the last half-decade or so:

While we’re out working on the park, we often find unexpected things in the dirt. Like, really unexpected things. Over the last 6 summers of building in the woods, the boys and I have found parts of cars, roller-coaster bits, unidentifiable bones (yes, really, I say!) and often chunks of antique dishes and glassware.

It is, however rare to find anything whole and/or in good shape. Last weekend was an exception and on a build day at the park, I uncovered an adorable little half pint milk bottle and a cool blue glass inkwell.


After the day of digging was all wrapped up our tools were cleaned and put away, I headed home to polish up my newfound treasure. A quick scrub and a short soak in the sink later and we were left with some clean and quirky glassware with a history all its’ own.

An Ebay and Etsy search confirmed that neither one is worth much, but it turns out there is some really cool history to be told. The milk bottle is from Rusche Haller & Co here in Chicago, and according to this Google Doc, Mr Rusche. really knows his milk! The ink well was manufactured by  Sanford’s, likely in the late 19th or early 20th century. And for all of you history nerds (myself included) this is the same Sanford’s that still manufactures Sharpie markers and PaperMate pens. Who knew?

What sort of treasure have you unearthed in backyard renovations?

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  • Wow! Those are cute finds! I’m surprised they weren’t broken.

    We found a lot of buried trash when we were working on our yard – like buckets of old bricks and assorted house-building material. The only thing close to a “treasure” was a rusted star anchor plate (like the one from Soulard:

  • Tina S.6.17.13 - 10:25 AM

    The ink well has a link to Sharpies? My goodness, I’ve died and gone to Heaven! I’m a major Sharpie addict, so if I found that ink well I’d equate it to finding winning lottery numbers! Very cool finds.ReplyCancel

  • Kim6.17.13 - 11:45 AM

    Thanks, Tina! Who ISN’T a Sharpie addict? ;)ReplyCancel

  • Jackie B6.17.13 - 12:16 PM

    So cool to find some buried treasure! When digging in our backyard, I found some nice stones and rocks that are now surrounding my fire pit.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica@CapeofDreams6.17.13 - 2:58 PM

    Cool finds! It was a relief to find out that was a dirt bike park; I was afraid you were going to say it was the backyard of your new house. Of course, if you are into jumping bikes, that would be an awesome backyard.ReplyCancel

  • Kim6.17.13 - 3:08 PM

    Jessica, Scott would be in HEAVEN if that was our new backyard! Luckily, our home isn’t too far from the park though.ReplyCancel

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Kim and Scott

We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

Join us as we renovate and nurture vintage homes across Chicago + SW Michigan!

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