“Time Capsule” Discovered Under the Floor Boards of the “Sharkey Building” at 630 Court Street, Martinez, CA
On December 28, 2015 Alberto Perez, an employee of Southport Land, discovered a small stash of documents and photographs under the floor boards of the “Sharkey Building” at 630 Court Street in Martinez. The building has been undergoing earthquake retrofitting, which required some interior demolition, including the removal of part of the floor. The brick structure had been constructed in 1926 by State Senator William R. Sharkey to accommodate the expansion of his newspaper publishing activities, and was the home of the Martinez Gazette newspaper for many years.
Although not a true time capsule, the documents and photographs give a rare look into the past. The discovery includes:
• Three copies of a 1921 brochure from the Martinez Chamber of Commerce;
• Eight portrait photographs (two marked as taken in Martinez);
• Two envelopes; and
• A Hershey Bar wrapper.
When he turned the stash over to Southport Land's president, David Fischer, Mr. Perez remarked that he was giving Mr. Fischer the documents, but he was “keeping the money.”
Scanned images of most of the items, and a transcipt of any writing on them, are below.
The cover of the "MARTINEZ One Dollar per NOT Booklet" bearing a date (on the inside) of 1921.
This is one of three copies found.
The inside of the "MARTINEZ One Dollar per NOT Booklet." Note the date of 1921.
Photo reads "Simas MARTINEZ, CALIF."
This photo was found in an envelope postmarked from Richmond, California on September 19, 1912.
It was addressed to Mr. J. F. Duarte, R.F.D. 1, Box 38, West Berkeley, Calif.
The image of the woman in the middle of the photo has been "inked out."
It is believed that the photo was submitted so that a copy could be made showing only the woman on the far left,
and the process involved "inking out" the overlapping person.
Photo reads "Lancaster MARTINEZ"
This photo was badly damaged.
Apparently the same "inking out" process that was used on Photo #1 was also used on this photo, except red ink was used.
It is believed that this photo was used to create a new image of the man on the far left.
Photo appears to read "Rex Studio 54 South 1st St. San Jose Cal"
The reverse side appears to have the following written in pencil:
Mrs S. H. Byrant
2810 Harvey Ave
Between Angus and Mariposa
Photo appears to read "Moracco Foto 205 Montg. Ave. S.F. Cal."
Photo appears to have the following written in pencil on the reverse:
3/8/10 new par
J J Kelley
Dark brown hair
Blue a yellow centre
810 - Pine
Mrs. J. A. Kelley
__oftrany Gatifuryarrp *
* Since we are certain we are butchering the name above, we are including a scan of it here:
The unique shape of the woman's nose may provide a clue as to the identity of these folks.
Although there are many notations on this envelope, the following are clear:
8 1⁄2 x 11
8 frames ✔ Bill to _____w Co
1⁄2 ≠ 36
want a plain ___ finish in place of the brown
1 frame 12 x 18
no glass- 1- 1172 Blue & Gold
Oct 19 / 25
The front of a Hershey's wrapper, believed to be from the 1920's, proclaims:
A NOURISHING FOOD
5¢ Sweet Milk Chocolate 5¢
NET WEIGHT 13⁄8 OZ.
HERSHEY CHOCOLATE CO HERSHEY PA U.S.A.
The back of the 1920's Hershey's wrapper reads:
USE HERSHEY’S COCOA
AS DELICIOUS AS HERSHEY’S ALMOND BARS AND MILK CHOCOLATE
THE GENUINE BEARS THIS SIGNATURE M S Hershey