By ROCCO MAGLIO
A little while ago the Hernando Sun came into possession of an interesting piece of history. It was a piece of flashing from a roof with a newspaper article printed on it. Our first thought was that maybe it was a plate from printing the newspaper, but then the writing would have been a mirror image, so that when the ink was transferred to the newsprint it would be correct.
We reached out to Ms. Eryn Williamson who provided the flashing to award winning Hernando Sun reporter/photographer Alice Mary Herden. Ms. Williamson answered several questions related to the flashing with the newspaper article written on it.
The article printed on the flashing was a digest of articles starting with an article printed 47 years before the article that was published on the tin. The text of the printed flashing is the article follows:
News of bygone days: Yesteryear in Hernando
47 years ago
THE BROOKSVILLE HERALD
April 23, 1925 — Brooksville population is 1,745, an increase of 700 over the last census… The county population is 4,723 an increase of 200.
15 years ago
THE BROOKSVILLE JOURNAL
April 25, 1957 — Young man killed in automobile crash… Jaycee district caucus planned here… Boy Scouts plan camporee… Weeki Wachee Spring and bath house and beach in full operation. Rotary installs officers hears from the Rev. Elliot Ritch, former Methodist pastor here.
10 years ago
May 3, 1962 — Voters to cast ballots May 8 as campaigning nears end.. Dr. Carnes Harvard retiring as president of the Florida Medical assn… Mayor Jim Brooks clamps down on unauthorized city buying.
5 years ago
April 30, 1967 — Big Spring Hill edition includes full color picture, stories about Mackle brothers, county history.
1 year ago
May 4, 1971 — Jake Varn nominated by Democratic Committee for clerk… Dirty dozen arrest 312… Sen. Fred Karl kills Norman Hitchman chances for staying as clerk.
Q & A with Eryn Williamson, resident who found the historic flashing
Q: It looks like that article was from 1972. Was that the year that the roof was installed?
A: I am unsure of when the roof was installed but due to the dates on the pieces of metal and the condition the roof was in, it was probably in the 1970s. We discovered the newspapers printed on the metal in 2016 when we covered the shingles with metal. I think we left some of the old flashing that has this print on it if it wasn’t damaged or in bad shape.
Q: How did you discover the newspaper printed metal?
A: When we were tearing down the damaged pieces of flashing, I noticed there was something printed on it. I started to investigate the pieces of metal and noticed it was old newspaper articles. I wasn’t sure and am still unsure of how and why it is printed on there. It would be interesting to learn how old newspapers were printed and if they are still printed this way.
Q: Do you have any idea who printed the newspaper on the metal?
A: If I recall correctly, I saw the name of the old Hernando Paper. Some of the old pieces had the title of the newspaper and dates printed. I saw some printed as the Hernando Sun but when it recalled back to historic clippings it referred to it as The Brooksville Herald.
Several of the people helping with the roofing project took pieces of metal that they found interesting, so there are pieces floating around town. Mostly residents from Ridge Manor. I would be willing to bet that homes that were built or re-roofed in the 1970s will have newspaper articles printed on the flashing as well. There could even be older ones printed on some of the original homes here in Brooksville. It would be very interesting to see if anyone else has come across them.
Q: What else have you found that is interesting while working on the house?
A: That was the most interesting thing found while re-roofing the home. I read many of the pieces of metal and my favorite piece was one titled, “On this day in history” and it was a clipping from an article sometime in the 1930s that discussed what was going on in Brooksville on that day. After reading some of the articles you could feel how it would be to live in Brooksville then, the old timey small town feeling where everyone knew each other, went to the same Sunday services followed by breakfast at the local diners, block parties, community events, etc.
With the growing population, more development is occurring and that small town, family oriented community feeling is disappearing. I’m not saying Brooksville doesn’t have a good town feeling, it just doesn’t seem the same with the complexities of modern day society. Now it is hard to know everyone in town.
Let us know if you can help us solve this newspaper clipping mystery or if you’ve found something of interest while working on your house. Email [email protected] or write to us at PO Box 12203;
Brooksville, FL 34603.