You discover a family history, but none of it is yours.
That’s the beginning of a Redmond woman’s mystery surrounding someone else’s misplaced heirlooms.
“How could somebody’s photo albums end up in a box that had been delivered to me, originally?” said Debbie Hershey, the woman who found the pieces of history.
Two mysterious photo albums, found tightly packed in a box originally addressed to Hershey, sat in her storage unit.
That cardboard box used to contain products for her horses, but Hershey believes someone else placed the albums there.
“Taped shut, and Bulletin, Friday, March 9th, 2018,” Hershey said.
She ruffled through the packing papers, as we laughed about what the news was back on that day.
Each album emerged and gently placed on a table in her office.
“And as I looked through the photo album, I had no idea who these people were,” Hershey said.
The first album, covered in daisies and purple, contains photos of a young boy.
“Well somebody really cared,” Hershey said, “They cared. They spent a lot of time putting all of this together.”
The other, gray and bound, has photos and documents lost to time, with the oldest photos marked from the 1880s.
“1990, negatives. Have you ever seen a negative?” Hershey said.
The names and numbers don’t ring a bell for Hershey or any of her friends and former roommates.
“There was a note. ‘Neat old pictures from my cousin Kathy Daniels.'” Hershey said.
Hershey searched for Daniels, which led to a dead-end, before posting on the Redmond Facebook group about the albums.
Until Wednesday, no one has been able to find the family. All Hershey has is private memories that feel a little invasive to explore.
“Now if it was my family, I would probably say ‘oh, it’s great, you know it’s family, go ahead and check it out.’ But it’s someone else’s family and I don’t know who they are,” Hershey said.
For anyone that might recognize someone in this album, Hershey said she’s keeping the books safe for when the owner or a rightful family member steps forward.
“It’s a history of someone’s family and how it ended up in my possession. I have no idea, none, absolutely none,” Hershey said.
That question was soon answered after our story aired Wednesday night.
On our Facebook page, Dave Boberg left a comment exclaiming the history wrapped in the carefully constructed pages were of his family.
“Hey! Is that you on Central Oregon Daily News about the photo albums? That’s my family!” Boberg said in a message to Hershey.
Boberg lives in Washington, but his parents both lived in Central Oregon.
His mother, Marcia Rash, worked as a drive-up bank teller before becoming a cashier at the Redmond Bi-Mart for 13 years.
Rash passed away in 2017, leaving her photo albums at her house, which Hershey lived in for a period of time.
Boberg said he recognized his late mother’s handwriting in the note about Kathy Daniels.
How the albums got into a box once used to deliver horse products to Hershey is still unknown.
But Boberg is ecstatic to get those priceless heirlooms back, and we’re so glad that showing this local story solved a mystery.