Historical treasures found in hidden attic of old building

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 9:06 AM CST
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(CNN) - An upstate New York man got more than he bargained for when he bought a building for his law office - an attic full of priceless photographs.

David Whitcomb says he didn’t even know the building in Geneva had an attic.

He discovered it when he went to change a light bulb and noticed the drop ceiling looked odd.

Using just the flashlight on his phone, Whitcomb climbed into an access panel and found a treasure trove of framed pictures and photography equipment.

One of those pictures was a portrait of suffragist leader Susan B. Anthony taken by photographer James Hale in 1905.

It’s the same photo that was licensed to the Susan B. Anthony Memorial Association and sold on postcards.

Other photos and glass negatives found in the attic suggest the building was used by Hale.

He was known for photographing leaders in the women’s rights movement and President Grover Cleveland’s fiancée.

Whitcomb is getting some of the glass negatives developed to see what other history he might uncover.

Whitcomb says he felt like he was in the movie “The Goonies” when he found the attic.

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