Jeff Palmer has stumbled upon a mystery of history in his Riverview yard.
Last week, tucked up between his car and fence, Palmer found 10 framed photos inside of a reusable bag. Upon inspection, the photos revealed themselves to date to the early part of the 20th century — perhaps the 1930s, he guessed.
"It looked like they had been placed there, but I’m not sure by whom or under what circumstances. They didn’t look like they had been completely abandoned. But, obviously, it’s not a spot that they should be in, so I didn’t know what to make of it," he said.
While most of the photographs are nameless, one is colourfully decorated, commemorating a Royal Canadian Air Force member from the Second World War — Sgt. Thomas A. Faulkner is written in large letters, and dated 1941.
Unsure of who Faulkner is or where his family could be, Palmer (who unsuccessfully ran for Winnipeg city council in 2018 in Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) posted his findings on Twitter, hoping to reconnect the items to their owner.
"Mostly, it seems as though they were personal items with potentially sentimental value. And I know if I had lost a bag of items like that, I would hope somebody might make an effort to get them back to me," he said.
However, thus far, no individual or historical organization has been able to find a home for the photos.
"I didn’t know if they belonged to somebody and were lost or stolen or if they were bought in a garage sale and then abandoned. Who knows? They could be decoration in a coffee shop for all I know," he said.
Updated on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 7:07 PM CDT: Adds photo