Monday, July 6, 2009

Mysterious Plates Found in the Wall of a Bangor House

Recently, I was talking with our barber as she clipped away at my son's hair. She shared how she came to find three mysterious plates with names and dates engraved on them. I talked her into digging them out so that I might get a look. In a house that she owned previous to the one she now owns, she came across the three metal plates shown at the right. Removing the plaster and lathe of the nineteenth century house near Ohio Street in Bangor, these were fished out in the same condition as they now appear a decade or so later. My guess is that the plates were once fastened to the coffins of those named on the plates, since they have holes in the corners of them and were obviously fastened to something.

If you recall, recent BHS guest speakers have shared their stories of finding coins dating from the initial and subsequent construction (s) of their eighteenth century homes in the process of renovating them. A shoe enclosed in the wall of eighteenth homes has also been said to have been a typical superstition and practice insuring a house's safety according to recent guest speakers. Finding what would seem to be casket plates in the walls of a nineteenth century is a new one for me? Insights about these plates, and how they might be typical or atypical of superstitions surrounding house construction from the time period would be greatly appreciated. Please email me at:

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