When Bryan Turner and his wife Richelle ripped up the old floors in their 1929 Pinellas Park home, they found a layer of history they didn't expect to see. Ads and articles from The St. Petersburg Times dating from 1926-1945 were collaged and stuck to the old oak planks.
Cigarette ads. Baby alligators for sale. Theater ads from venues long-gone. High school football teams in leather helmets. Articles on Winston Churchill, Nazis, and other World War II news. A real estate ad selling a 3-bedroom home for $7,500.
Bryan surmises that the old papers were used under their flooring as a vapor barrier to prevent dry rot and mold in a room that used to be a porch.
"I thought it was awesome to see all these articles," said Bryan, whose great grandfather A.C. (Arthur Campbell) Turner owned the West Hillsborough Times (which became the St. Petersburg Times) from 1884-1892.
He contacted the Tampa Bay Times to see if there was any interest in documenting it as he and his wife didn't plan to preserve it. They will sand the floors as they continue to rehab the home they will live in with their three kids.
But Bryan, whose hobby is history, will miss the window into history. "It was like a pot of gold underneath there."