NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A North Fort Myers woman says modern day technology is helping her to be able her to connect the past with the present. After years of waiting and researching, she found a home for a piece of paper dating back to 1900.
Nora Lockhart said the piece of paper from 1900 is a high school diploma from Michigan. She said her common law husband found the fragile and faded file in a storage unit several years ago but until recently, she wasn't able to find the owner.
"If it was my family and somebody would have found it, I would have appreciated it if they would have tried to contact me," said Lockhart.
It's a piece of paper almost no one alive today could say they've received. A high school diploma from 1900 that is so fragile and so brittle, even taking it out of it's case, Lockhart said, needs to be done with extreme care.
"Its real thick paper but its real fragile because if I touch it too much its going to rip," said Lockhart.
Lockhart's common law husband, Paul Rutterbush, who passed away recently, had a hobby of finding storage units and selling the hidden treasures inside. That's where this piece of history comes into play.
"He spent a couple of years trying to find the family members to it so he could return it to them," said Lockhart.
When Rutterbush passed on, that's when Lockhart decided she needed to clean out his estate. It was inside a closet that she found this piece of history that will now connect the past with the future.
"I've been looking since january to find the contacts for the people," said Lockhart.
Through modern day technology, Lockhart e-mailed everyone on Facebook with the same last name of the one of the diploma. As luck would have it, the last e-mail sent, Lockhart believes she found the owner, 111 years later, in Bradenton, Florida.
"Its so exciting. I'd like to meet her in person but I know I cant but it would be exciting. I'd like to see her face when she gets this. Its just so exciting," said Lockhart.
Lockhart said she believes the woman she has been emailing on Facebook is the granddaughter of the man whose name is on the diploma. She hopes to mail it to her sometime this week.