A Michigan resident got a blast from the past last week!
Brittany Keech from Belding, Michigan, received a tattered postcard in the mail on Sept. 8 — and it was postmarked Oct. 29, 1920. The 100-year-old letter, which arrived out of the blue, was addressed to a Roy McQueen and adorned with a sign of the times: a one-cent George Washington stamp.
Keech, who has lived at her house for two years, is no stranger to receiving mail for previous occupants but has never received anything like the dated postcard.
"I was honestly surprised,” she told NBC News. “I didn't think I could read it first, but I knew that it looks old. So then when I started looking at it closer, when I had more than half a second to look at it, I noticed that it was a really old letter dated back to 1920. It was addressed to my address, but it wasn't addressed to me."
Keech wasn’t sure if the postcard was real or fake initially, but when she began to read it, she thought that it had to be authentic.
“Just by what their letter contained and everything and what they're saying, I knew that it was more than just, you know, some postcards you can buy on eBay to send as like a general ... greeting to somebody," she explained.
Keech took to Facebook to share her unexpected mail in a local group called “Positively Belding.” She was hoping for some answers about the mysterious postcard.
“I know a lot of people here in Belding have lived here for a long time ... or their family has lived here and they just come back to their roots,” she said. “So I knew ‘Positively Belding’ would give me a little bit of other than me just starting to look into it myself.”
The post has garnered national attention and has gotten “way bigger” than Keech expected in just under a week. She thought she would receive only 20 or 30 comments, but instead, her post was shared hundreds of times and got nearly 200 comments. From the reactions she received on social media, Keech even gathered a few leads on the family for whom the original letter was intended.
“I have a couple of people that have been really helpful in tracking down information on the family,” she said. “‘And when I interviewed with ‘The New York Times’ ... they had emailed me that someone had contacted them that was a relation to the family. So I started talking with her and asked her to send me their genealogy so that I could see their relation and the connection between.”
Keech is so determined to find a direct descendant of Roy McQueen that she's now dabbling in genealogy with the help of friends.
The unexpected letter came at a good time for Keech, as searching for the recipient's family has served as a nice distraction amid the coronavirus epidemic, she said.
“(It) kept our minds off of everything that's going on with the pandemic, and it gives me something to do," she said. "I have not being able to really do much right now, besides home-school my son, but it's been nice to have something else in terms of positive talk I'm focused on right now."