Couple who found woman's long-lost diaries tracks down her famil - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Couple who found woman's long-lost diaries tracks down her family

The diaries belonged to a woman named Estelle Fehlberg and date back to 1924.  (Source: Carley Knapp/KOVR/CNN) The diaries belonged to a woman named Estelle Fehlberg and date back to 1924. (Source: Carley Knapp/KOVR/CNN)

SACRAMENTO, CA (KOVR/CNN) - A Washington state couple made an incredible discovery while cleaning out their garage - a box filled with a woman's diaries that date nearly a century.

Each diary was written by a woman unknown to the couple, so they reached out for help in tracking down the family.

"I looked in the box, and I said, 'Oh, these are diaries. I was so amazed," Carley Knapp said.

The box that she and husband Wayne Knapp stumbled upon was tucked high on a shelf in their Oak Harbor garage in Washington.

The diaries belonged to a woman named Estelle Fehlberg and date back to 1924.    

"The handwriting is absolutely beautiful, someone who obviously cared. It includes poetry they really enjoyed," Carley Knapp said.

She doesn't know how the box came into their possession. However, her husband was in the Air Force, and their best guess is that during one of their many moves, a moving company accidentally mixed Estelle Fehlberg's box of diaries with their belongings.

Determined to track down the family, Carley Knapp contacted CBS. The only clue written in the diaries was an address in Hayward.

From there, a connection was established to a family home where Estelle Fehlberg last lived, and apparently passed away, in Modesto. That led to her only living relatives in Sheridan, her granddaughter Eileen Fehlberg.

"I was just kind of surprised because she's been gone since I was 6," she said.

Eileen Fehlberg said she has fond memories of her grandmother, who was a schoolteacher.

"This is the only picture I can find of my grandmother," she said. "She's here with her dog in 1936."

Eileen Fehlberg was excited to learn more. 

"It would be so wonderful to read her stories, what she did, her daily life, my dad growing up," she said.

Estelle Fehlberg's diaries, collecting dust for 30-plus years, soon will be given new life.

"Thank you so so much for reaching me," Eileen Fehlberg said. "This is a wonderful present."

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