The wooden box was stained from age and covered with tattered canvas that gave no hint of the forgotten secrets it held. At first glance, Kerry Conlin thought the plywood box was covering electrical wiring in the abandoned house in Kathryn that she and her husband, Paul, had bought to rescue from ruin.

When she opened the lid it quickly became apparent that the box had been carefully placed in a corner of a bedroom closet for safekeeping by someone long ago. The old box was a time capsule stuffed with letters, photographs and family albums dating back to the 1930s and 1940s.

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